Right to Learn (R2L) Campaign is a challenge to raise over R2million, this will give access to 1000 students by paying for their 2018 registration fees. The first and most difficult milestone in a student’s life is being able to register, most students are deprived access in this stage due to financial constraints. Majority of these students are indigent students and as such qualify for the National Students Financial Aid Scheme, however due to the high volumes of applications and inefficiencies in the scheme’s systems,they are not funded on time. By the time of university registration, they have not received a response from the scheme and when they receive the response, often granting the funding, they have already missed the university registration deadline.
Through this type of registration intervention, the university has been able to register 2290 in 2014; 2265 in 2015; 4069 in 2016 and 5183 students in 2017. These are students whom would have had to go home and not be able to register and study. On top of the general increase in the number of these students, through the tour alone we can add 1000 more families to these numbers for 2018.
Education is a national priority and has a direct or indirect bearing on every citizen. The current calls for a free and quality education by the South African student population are legitimate and merely manifest the pain that has been suffered by our students and their families, particularly the poor.
Poverty is also a national crisis, and the best attempt to its eradication is education, a basic right which many have been deprived of due to their socio-economic backgrounds.
The subject of Access to higher education should equally be a national one, through the tour we want to engage every stakeholder of society behind this subject, currently government’s investment in higher education as a ratio of total GDP is 0.71%.
The bilateral implication of this is that one, government needs to as a matter of urgency stimulate its total spending towards higher education, secondly that there needs to be a collective nationwide approach.
Through this challenge, we plead the support of every member of society, let us partner in educating just one more student, one more family, and ultimately the nation.