n African Journal of Rhetoric - Education : a human right or a privilege? Exploring the gap between rhetoric and reality

Volume 8 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1998-2054


Arguably, apartheid policies such as the 'reservation of jobs for whites' and 'bantu education' further entrenched the disenfranchisement of the majority of the South African populace. Unfortunately, very little seems to be improving for the poor even today, notwithstanding government efforts to provide basic services to people whom the apartheid regime gave little consideration. We will argue and attempt to demonstrate in this article that if South Africa is to have any hope of taking significant strides in achieving economic emancipation, firstly; the government needs to lead decisively in the actual provision of quality education at all levels and not simply pay lip service to this ideal. Secondly; ensure that access to higher education, in particular, is guaranteed as a right to all who qualify on merit regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds. We also will argue that it is in fact unconstitutional and retrogressive for any South African to be turned away from an Institution of higher learning based solely on their inability to pay for their studies. While Government efforts to fund students through the NSFAS system are acknowledged, we propose that this is insufficient and that twenty-one years into democracy necessitates the exploration of different strategies in order to ensure that education becomes a right that is accessible to all who seek and desire it and not only a matter of rhetoric.

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