The South African Students Congress (SASCO) notes and welcome the release of matric results class of 2018 and extend the well-deserved congratulation to the class of 2018, for not succumbing to the systemic and structural challenges at the basic education level. We also wish to take this opportunity to thank the principal organizations SADTU and COSAS our sister organization for their hard work, dedication and commitment towards improving education for the children of the working class and the poor. We applaud working-class families and communities for navigating through harsh realities to ensure that their children get a better education.
We are encouraged by the consistent improvement of the pass rate particularly by the lower ranked schools between quintiles 1, 2 and 3. This dispels the myth that township schools and rural schools, in general, are not performing to the required standards. We wish to congratulate the Eastern Cape for recording the historic improvement at 5.6%, this is despite the Eastern Cape being the most rural province with a relative number of mud schools. Education inspires the spirit of hope in African communities that through it there will be development and equality, it is through education that young people are empowered with necessary skills to unlock economic opportunities and improve their socio-economic background.
The South African Students Congress is delighted at the means by the government to implement some strategic intervention programs in some poor performing schools across the country and want to encourage the department to continue with strides to better our education, with a strategic focus on improving quality in subject likes Mathematics, Science and Accounting. For those who did not make it, we want to encourage them not to despair but use all alternative opportunities provided by the government to complete their Matric. SASCO will work with PYA to ensure that they receive all necessary assistance.
We will not pop Champaign for IEB assessment recorded a 98.9% pass rate, to us the IEB represent a sad story of the preserved legacy of apartheid in our country 25 years into our democracy. IEB represents the entrenchment of white supremacy, the raw division between the poor and rich. As the South African Students Congress (SASCO) we also want to register our complete opposition to the of releasing IEB results before those of public schools thereby giving the affluent schools the chance to have the first bite in institutions of higher learning, at the detriment of the working class and the poor offsprings.
We also want to reiterate our position on the mathematics adjustment for IEB learners, this ridiculous act is a direct indicator of white supremacy raising its ugly head with apartheid leftover tendencies within South Africa that maintains the status quo and continued systematic discrimination and marginalization of the children of the poor and the working class. The adjusting of marks to better the IEB outcomes so as to brainwash the society and maintain the appearance on the performance of IEB and keep “raw marks” for NCS is a living testament of SASCO conviction that public schools which are attended by poor children are performing far better than the privileged white schools with all the resources and study materials at their disposal. Against all deliberate odds, the black child is expected to compete and perform better. As we said before, the Independent Examinations Board must be collapsed and a single examination board be established in line with the vision of creating a single coordinated system of education for nations building and peoples power.
RIGHT TO LEARN CAMPAIGN
South African Students Congress (SASCO), wishes to welcome all members, activists and most importantly the general populace across the country. Our annual and historic campaign Right To Learn has begun which amongst other things focuses on access and success, fighting against any form of exclusion imposed by the system to our brothers and sisters. This year yet again the activists have cut short their holidays and family time to honour the historic call of this giant revolutionary student movement to the benefit of children of the working class.
We send a strong message throughout the country to our structures to assist the offsprings of the poor and working class with respect and humility, to serve, suffer and sacrifice for them without any intentions of material gains. The NEC of SASCO calls upon all leaders, activists and members of SASCO to fight the tendency of criminals in campuses using desperation of vulnerable sisters and brothers during this period to rob students both financially and sexually. This is a time where our people are thirsty for education in order to lay a solid foundation for their future.
SASCO through its Right To Learn Campaign will be assisting prospective and returning students to access Universities and TVET colleges across the country we believe no students should be denied an opportunity to study. SASCO invites all students to come to all institutions, our cadres and activist are readily available to assist all with no reservation. Our cadres will never stop until access to education is granted to all.
FEE FREE EDUCATION
In 2018 the South African Students Congress witness the rollout of the fee-free education of course with huge challenges still to overcome. Fee-free education came about as the result of the long protracted struggle which SASCO has fought for, fearlessly, internally and externally using boardroom and street tactics were necessary for decades. Students activists in the country are victims of the protests fighting for this historic call, free quality education, we reiterate our call to the President to grant amnesty to all students activists that were arrested and expelled to Universities and Colleges, the fact that government pronounced fee-free education it means the call for free education was genuine and therefore they must be forgiven.
We wish to stress that all children of the poor and the working class should and will benefit from the fruit of our struggle, fee-free education. We condemn all universities that have arrogantly increased fees for the year 2019. The fee increment will be a huge pinch and will take a huge chunk of NSFAS budget and thereby reducing the number of students to be accommodated for the NSFAS grant. Further reiterate unequivocally that no students must be rejected by NSFAS in particular students coming from families with household income of less 350 000 per annum.
We wish to encourage even those who did not apply to come to the institutions, the 122 000 Bachelor pass dictates that universities must reconsider their enrolment targets, we will be on guard against those who will increase APS point in order to exclude our students. SASCO will ensure all qualifying students are not turned away from the gates on the basis of space or financial problems. SASCO your first Friend on Campus, we are committed to ensuring that the Right to Learn is realized.
Issued on behalf of SASCO
Cell: 078 253 8406