YCL should not fiddle in UFS’s territory

How long will we continue to blame the poor performance of our students on the Department of Education alone and not the students themselves? Aren’t they, the students, the ones learning, if not failing to learn?

Of course one would have to take into account the failure, too, on the part of the country’s education system which for more than a decade now has continued produce the so-called illiterate and incompetent future generation as they are known.

One cannot understand let alone comprehend the audacity the Young Communist League has in trying to dictate to the University of the Free State (UFS) what admission requirements it should set for the new entrants and what not.

In its ill-informed and dictatory statement to the university the YCL said the introduction of the innovative ways of increasing the university’s admission requirement points from the previous 28 to 30 was “inconsistent”. The increase, according to the YCL, was just another way in which UFS could “further exclude black students from being admitted in the institution”, a decision which it is “vehemently opposed” to

The league said the point system used by universities was “inconsistent and [had] been a tool to ostracize students from disadvantaged backgrounds.” It said the point system does not take into consideration that students from privileged schools have more subject options as opposed to schools in disadvantaged communities. The point system and the number of points one needs is applicable regardless of how many subjects a student has. A student can have only six subjects and still be required to meet the same requirements with someone who has 11 subjects.

It further accused the University of not offering Music subject to the “disadvantaged communities whereas in private school there is an entourage of subjects offered where students can easily meet stringent requirements set out for entry”. This, read the statement, was a “creation of a white elephant in UFS and [affirmation] that the institution will forever be white”.

The 12 month programme created to assist students from disadvantaged communities, said the league was a “mockery” because it only “prolongs the number of years which students study and moreover it increases the already high costs of tuition and expenses of staying in university”, according to the YCL.

The system, however, is surprising for me because this it is used by many higher education institutions in the country. Or maybe the league is not clued up on issues of higher education?North WestUniversity’sMafikengcampus is one such institution that uses the system.

The system, unfortunately and as one understands it, somewhat disadvantages students who are from the poorer schools that were not well-resourced enough and some of whose students voluntarily failed to study hard enough to reach their ‘expected’ potential and meeting the pointing system required of them. This can then be seen as meant to ‘excluding the black students from being admitted in the institution’ as alleged by the league. Instead, it is used to raise the high level of intellect on students. More than that it is used as a yardstick on how much efforts the students themselves are willing to put into their school work in order to reach and even exceed their ‘expected’ potential and results.

This, sadly, is an important aspect thereof which the league fails to understand and one suspects that even the Minister of Education Blade Nzimande cannot ‘intervene’ on this matter unless of course the system was used on ‘racial lines’ like the University of Cape Town is alleged to be doing towards black students only, something that is presently non-existent in this case.

My Dear Young Communist League no matter how hard it might be for the students to meet the required pointing system you still cannot dictate to the university what is best for the students except on other political matters because surely you’d know that the university and its teaching stuff are experts and professionals in their respective fields of study and one trusts that they actually know what they are doing and why they are doing it.

Whether you collectively “fight tooth and nail” to “mobilize [your] structures” to scrap the system should it be implemented as you see it as “racial tactics policies” it is still the UFS’s prerogative, one that you certainly cannot do anything about.

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