The infamous #FeesMustFall by the student came into the political landscape of South Africa in the year 2015. The student movement began as a protest to reduce the cost of higher education in the country.
Back in October 2015, there was a 10.5 percent increase in the tuition fees across the country. A small group of students forcibly shut down the Johannesburg’s Wits University, they barricaded the doors and even disrupted the classes. And this was the inception of the growing student moment which has escalated to the point of no return. Even in the year 2019, the students are trying to attain a fair and accessible education for everyone.
One of the student leaders, Shaeera Kalla said that the students are still trying to wake up from the nightmare. Kalla also noted that the only way by which the social-economic reality in the country can change, if attaining higher education will become mainstream.
According to Kall, education in the country is number one, i.e., Afrocentric. Here, African ideas are put in the center, and they are of great importance. The students want to curate the education system where African knowledge will be valued alongside the western.
The students are persuading against the sheer idea of outsourcing. The university chose to hire the support staff with the help of company contractors and didn’t opt for direct employment. The move resulted in a scenario where most of the workers were paid less, and they lost the benefit such as medical aid.
After Adam Habib’s efforts of constraining the protest didn’t work, he hired 1,000 police to be present at the campus at all times. The students were shot at with rubber bullets, arrested, and were also charged with serious offenses even Kalla was shot 13 times. But the students didn’t give up. They knew that there’s nothing more devastating than poverty and they came from poverty-stricken homes. No wonder that these students are fighting on behalf of every other student for enlisting free education.
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