Civil organisation Equal Education (EE) has urged government and ministry of higher education and training to convert the current National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) into a grant that prioritises poor students.
EE General Secretary Tshepo Motsepe told the Fees Commission that if the government seriously needs money to sponsor free education it needs to deal with corruption first and the blotted top civil service management.
Making submissions at the Fees Commission public hearing held at the Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria on Wednesday, Motsepe says Nsfas in its current form exposes the beneficiaries and their families to everlasting poverty and lifelong debt.
Motsepe says the convention of the financial aid will alleviate the burdens placed on young people from low income backgrounds who face the possibility of not getting a job after graduating.
“The financial aid scheme burdens an already burdened black population, particularly poor people. So, the question of redress and being able to push black people into a particular strata in society where they can be able to improve their families’ fortunes has not happened. Because once they have this loan hanging over their heads they also have the responsibility that goes beyond just families. But more over the question is them finding jobs. But we are also saying financial aid should not be a loan. It should be a grant scheme. It should be a scheme where you get it and there is no expectation to pay back.”
Social movement advocating for quality education in its recommendations before the Fees Commission called for the streamlining of all government departments
Motsepe says maladministration and corruption in government does not only deny the poor and the previously disadvantaged people quality education but other services such as health and transport as well.
“One which is common is the issue of corruption but also the state just looking at the income streams that are from tax payers those that are in the economy but not touch corporate tax in a while. But also I think most importantly is; has the state first been able to rid itself of corruption, has the state been able to include in its planning ways in order to combat in equalities gabs that continue to rise in this country, where poor people continue to receive substandard services within health and education and public transports.”
Social movement advocating for quality education in its recommendations before the Fees Commission called for the streamlining of all government departments. Motsepe says huge amount of tax payers’ money is used to pay people including senior officials in the two education departments who add no value to the provision of education.
“A Director of the Department of Education is receiving closely to a million rand salary per annum, that won’t work when we need people to be employed, you need well trained teachers, well trained nurses, well trained and well paid, you need social workers because that is direct service delivery and that is where I think the state got it wrong in prioritising the employment of the upper level.”
In conclusion, Motsepe also told the Fees Commission that the educational problems facing higher education and training cannot be addressed in isolation. He suggested that the challenges at Basic Education should also be taken into account.
Source link : http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/7d538600406b00908b6dcf22b496cfc2/Calls-for-Nsfas-loan-to-be-converted-into-a-grant-20170315
Publish date : 15 March 2017 | 4:41 pm