Student Body Gives South Africa Higher Education Department Ultimatum
A lot has been happening in Higher Education sector since the start of the academic year. We have witnessed how students and their leaders have been frustrated by the challenges that plague the sector. A Student Body has an ultimatum for Higher Education should things not be done in favour of tertiary students.
Recently, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) released a statement, which the South African Student Congress (SASCO) has noted as a ‘cowardly statement’.
The student body responded in its statement with the following:
In this clear display of cowardice and consistent with the anti-people stance of the department, the minister yet again fails in giving leadership and in directing higher education in South Africa.
SASCO stated that the minister has until 28 February 2022 to act decisively in defense of its students, a failure of which SASCO will embark on a nationwide shutdown of all institutions as they’ll also be approaching courts to fill the leadership vacuum left by Minister Nzimande.
Mandatory vaccinations also continue to be a topical issue as there have been some hurdles in the implementation of rollouts at various institutions.
Two University of the Free State (UFS) students were arrested and charged with public violence after protesting outside the gate of the Bloemfontein main campus.
It had been reported that students were protesting against the implementation of the mandatory vaccination policy.
At the centre of these conversations is the fact students should not be forced to vaccinate, as this infringes on their constitutional right of the freedom of choice and belief.
SASCO supports and encourages all students to vaccinate, however, are strongly opposed to mandatory vaccination as it is a form of coercion.
According to SASCO President Bamanye Matiwane, DHET Minister could have paused decisions pertaining to mandatory vaccinations up until a time Higher Health had finalised the proposed Vaccine Mandate on behalf of the department, to ensure a people-centred approach.
The student body condemns the actions by the Durban University of Technology (DUT), which saw first-year students not being allocated Residences and sleeping in the streets of eThekwini.