EDUCATION OBSTACLES AT HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL
By: Noxolo Makhanya
Students from ILembe Region and Malahleni were chased out of school because they did not pay their school fees. Learners from Sebenzakusakhanya and Muzokhanyayo were amongst
those who had to go back home due to lack of finances.
This added fuel to the fire because the Congress of South African Students (COSAS), Secretary General had released a statement saying they will fight fire with fire.
High school students embarked on a march yesterday to the Department Of Basic Education to give them a memorandum with a list of their concerns.
“I have not received my matric statement or certificate because the secretary at my school said I owe books, as a result I can’t apply,” said Thapelo Hlatshwayo, who matriculated at
Muzokhanyayo High school in Newcastle. Students were chanting struggle songs and shouting “free education now”.
“We want free, quality education in conjussive environment and history to be made a compulsory subject in all South African schools,” said Sibonelo Nzimakwe, deputy secretary
of COSAS KZN.
This march was organized by high school students who are members of COSAS, to raise their concerns about issues in their schools.
“I was told to go back home and come back when I have money to pay for my school fees.
That for me shows that our schools are dysfunctional and that we are far from getting freedom. My grandmother has no money,” said Nozipho Bhengu, from Sebenzakusakhanya
Students added that they were unhappy with their school conditions and that corporal punishment was common in their schools.
“For us corporal punishment is common, we are used to it,” said Mbali Khumalo from Sabela High School.
“We want immediate stop to corporal punishment and measures to be taken for those who will launch defiance.
We want section 21 in the constitution to be launched in schools, transport for scholars. We want free education, we want students to learn without fear,”
Amongst the schools which were marching was Sparks Estate, Burnwood, Westwood, Isuzinda, Sabela, Muzokhanyayo, Dunndee and others.
The learners delivered their memorandum to the DOE as expected in numbers.
Some students raised that they depend on their grandparents and sometimes cannot afford to pay schools fees.
“Just because our grandparents cannot pay our fees we have to stay at home, that for one is taking a right away from me. As an individual who can hardly afford things does that mean I
have to be excluded or that I must not learn? My education is important,” said Anezwa Zuma, Provincial executive committee member of COSAS KZN.