The right to quality education was paid for in blood and tears. It should not be denied to those who can't afford application and registration fees, says the writer. Picture: Bongani Mbatha
In Kabelo Chabalala’s superficial article in The Star and on IOL on Wednesday he states: “The cry for free education is an uneducated call.”

The writer plays to a trite that black people are prone to self-entitlement and will go to great lengths not to pay for services, rather than see the situation and struggles for what they are: a crisis emanating from years of oppression (institutionalised poverty).

Let alone that we’ve inherited an education system that spent 80% more on white kids than black kids, who were in the majority. In South Africa, one in four people go to bed hungry, people are dependent on social grants, and there is high unemployment, poverty and inequality rates, which are among the highest in the world. Our people, in the main live, in squalor. There is a daily struggle to cover basic needs.

His assertion that free higher education will lower the quality is misplaced. The Oprah Leadership Academy is a good example that, with the right management, technology (which will play a major role) and funding, quality free education can be realised.

The right to quality education was paid for in blood and tears. It should not be denied to the majority who cannot afford application and registration fees. As Dr Sibongile Muthwa, the newly appointed vice-chancellor of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, puts it: “Everyone with academic ability should have an opportunity to attend university. If they cannot afford it, it must be free.”

Patrick Mphuthi

Sandton

Read more: The cry for free education is an uneducated call