As thousands of students as well as their anxious parents rushed through the gates from the University of Johannesburg early on Tuesday morning, one woman, the mother of a prospective student, was trampled to death and many others were badly injured in a frantic stampede.
Lydia Polgreen in the New York Times reports on South Africa’s overstretched advanced schooling system, concluding the stampede embodied the broad crisis in?South Africa\’s inability to accommodate all of the students seeking seats at the country\’s public universities.
The university\’s vice chancellor, Ihron Rensburg, attempted to explain how everything deteriorated:
\”When we opened the gates today, we had this unfortunate, this very sad situation, high was simply an unbearable crush on the front entrance.\”
The country\’s public universities have to turn away over fifty percent of their applicants each year, leaving few choices for most senior high school graduates.
University officials say that about 85,000 students had applied for the roughly 11,000 seats offered at the university. The scholars that caused the crush were competing during the last few available seats.
The A.N.C.\’s Youth League?released an argument. In it i was told that:
\”The inability to institutions better learning to admit the entirety of learners who\’re eligible for higher education is reaching a crisis level.\”
South Africa\’s education minister, Blade Nzimande, admitted that currently Nigeria cannot cater to everyone who would like to attend a university, but it is something that the government would like to work on.
Until then, however, hopeful students should choose diploma programs at technical schools, known as Further Education and Training, or F.E.T. colleges, instead.
\”We need to change the perception that universities would be the only way to go to achieve life,\” Mr. Nzimande said.
\”At as soon as, we are sitting with 50,000 vacancies at F.E.T. colleges with diploma programs students can follow.\”
But many aren\’t seeing the value of these diplomas.
\”Companies don\’t hire us with an F.E.T. diploma,\” said Julius Mandlazi, a 22-year-old student.
Mandlazi ?failed to get a place in the University of Johannesburg. He attended an exercise college to earn a diploma like the F.E.T. but has failed to find a good job with that qualification.