September 3, 2011

Free Tertiary Education - Is this a Sustainable Option in South Africa?

SUSTAINABILITY OF FREE TERTIARY EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA

It is an absolute fact that education is one of the major contributing forces that can make a country globally competitive, quality education can uplift lives of people especially in information technology that has been creating huge demand around the world. In South Africa, education can play a highly critical role to produce the best workers and business individual among the youth by giving them the opportunity to experience higher education especially among the most poverty stricken areas of South African regions. But the high needs of social demands including food, shelter, clothing; health and infrastructure that are more important have hindered the balancing and budget allocation weighing of such plan for a very long time.

The funding requires no option but to defer the possibilities and availability of the proposed plans that may not be sustainable for free tertiary education in South Africa, there are many challenges and needs that they have to prioritize to be able to meet extra effort to divide such funds for tertiary education, the funding of most South African countries has already been incurred in the countries needs. They will need to thoroughly examine each and every step to take place to finally approve its concern. The availability of enrollees may be limited today because of lack of resources, sometimes the only options for students who cannot enroll in public school is to shift into private institution or scholarship but there are limited opportunities and only qualified students that are good in class usually can avail such option.

With the help of NGO, some countries are able to sustain such program but they can only do so much. The government has been doing all their accessible means and measures to sustain such project but there are also controversies and speculation about corruption though it has not been proven.

Higher education must definitely have a source of funding to be able to sustain such projects; quality of education should also be included in their endeavor. For investment purpose South African countries have implemented contracts in government approved plans to stimulate various contingency improvements, there are also available students loans for their basic needs, the development of financial aid for tuition fees are also available, availability of social services such as food, transportation or sometimes even housing for selected and deserving students.

The only question is the recovery of their cost of how are they going to sustain such students if they have a budget constraint. All this has been an immediate solutions but the question is will there be a long term plan for sustenance? There are numbers of attempt recorded including cost sharing; public private partnership by requiring independent school entrepreneurs to make their tuitions more affordable to students is a great option that results in great increase in enrollees to private public institutions. Doing all this task and option somehow lightens up the heavy burden of the government funding but still it do not comprise an adequate longevity and sustainability for students budget because they are too many, the challenges is not much of the budget and strategy but also in population that is continuously growing.

Another problem that they are encountering every year during enrollment is the number of teacher it is estimated that they would need at least 250,000 teachers before 2015 this is not just for South Africa but the whole African continent. If they are going to maintain 1 teacher per 20 students but they also resort into 1 is to 30 and still would not compromise the quality of education.

The following government and non government institutions are the one who are providing most of the tertiary student’s budget determining the general allocation and distribution is the Ministry of Higher Education, they are the one who takes care of minor adjustment inclusion in student’s budget, teacher salaries, and staff development and takes care of facilities and other operational expenses. World Bank also contributed to loans and finances for tertiary education in South Africa.

Their allocation of budget proves to be more transparent as of today so as to guarantee that the budget will go directly to its main concerns rather than in corruption, a series of budget management has been done. The reality is the sustainability of education and other expenses cannot really be measured a heavy burden by the government alone because of other constraint and that is an actual consideration, the people themselves especially parents must need to learn to strive and be responsible to their children to become independent family or individual and to be able to sustain their needs for education.

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