Do not sell education like a commodity on the market- SASU

The Southern African Student Union (SASU) have spoken out against what they termed the commodification of education to the disadvantage of a majority of students.

SASU convened its congress this past Sunday and engaged with various stakeholders in government and the civic movement, key amongst them being the National Youth Council and the Mayor of the City of Windhoek.

 “We totally reject the whole idea of commodifying education and reducing it into a product sold in the market, education remains an investment and not a product of the market, free quality education remains our struggle, education must be free, accessible and relevant,” said Thabo Moloja, SASU chairperson. 

He also lambasted the Namibian Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) for being unrepresentative of students while at the same time experiencing both leadership and management challenges. 

“More so we reject the proposal on the current discussion of the role of banks into loan granting, and doing away with grant component of the current system into a complete loan,” he added. 

He added that the emerging phenomenon of graduates’ unemployment which affects thousands of graduates, continue to be on the rise, saying this affects most if not all graduates in the region.

“Lack of opportunities to train and skill our graduates remain an issue, we call on our states to provide such opportunities, which must include community service by our graduates,” he said. 

 Moloja spoke out against the arrest of activist of FEES MUST FALL in South Africa as well as “the brutal killing of a student in Lesotho, the brutal regime of Mswati which continue to harass and abuse activist in Eswatini, are all acts of student rights violation which must be exposed and dealt with.” 

 He called upon regional governments and institution to exercise restraint when dealing with student grievances.

“We also note that Swaziland will hold their elections this year and we call on SADC to hold Mswati accountable and force him to hold free democratic elections that abides by the SADC protocol on elections.” 

“We have also noted key developments in the region, which affects our countries, the recent military coupe in Zimbabwe and the use of military into inter-party politics, is a dangerous practice, and should be condemned. The forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe must be free and fair for all Zimbabwean people to elect their government and return into Civilian rule,” he pointed. 

He further bashed the refusal of the elections by the administration of Joseph Kabila in the DRC as well as what he called “delay tactics” which he said undermines democracy and regional stability.

  “We re-commit ourselves into the transformation of Eswatini political landscape, the role of political parties and their right to participate in in political life, the absolute Monarch must be done away with, kingdoms, which exist in our various countries must co- exist with a political system, with the people electing their own public officials, and not defined by birth.” 

“We also re-commit ourselves on the question of the people of Western Sahara, it cannot be that in this time and age, we still have a colony on our continent, Morocco must be exposed for its backwardness on the matter, we call on our countries to reject the regime and support all efforts for a free and independent Western Sahara,” he stressed.