The love affair with violence and censorship continues...

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brianvds (September 29, 2016, 05:16:50 AM):
What tickles me about these student protests is their attendant unfailing descent into mindless savagery and demolition—and this from the country’s supposed aspiring intelligentsia.

Heh, we asked my landlady's ten year-old adopted daughter whether she thinks this wanton destruction of infrastructure by the fees-must-fall crowd is a good idea.

"No," she says. "It will mean fees will have to rise to pay for all the damage."

So the country's future intellectual elite is on a lower level of neurological functioning than a ten year-old girl. :-)

It's not that they don't have any point at all. Apparently, if the government simply stopped wasting money there would be enough to give everyone access to free university studies, and I can understand the frustration of students who do well in their first year and then have to quit simply because they can't afford further study. I am all in favour of bursaries for deserving students.

But this savagery is not just pointless, it is entirely counter-productive - the students actually pretty much depend on broad public opinion here, and this is not the way to win friends and influence the right people.

Incidentally, I have long wondered why a university degree is such an all-or-nothing affair. I would think one part of the solution to this and many other problems would be to award certificates/diplomas/whatevers for every year passed. Surely someone who passed his first year of university studies is better educated than someone who only has matric? And yet, such people are probably actually less likely to get a job, because the taint of failure clings to them (when in fact perhaps it's just that their finances ran out).
brianvds (September 29, 2016, 05:22:56 AM):
Im with you, but I shudder at the thought of ending up on the other side of this spectrum. A Nanny State.

What blows my mind is that both ends of the "spectrum" are a nanny state. In fact calling it a spectrum is a bit of a misnomer. There is no "right" in SA. Centrist and Conservative views are basically all but wiped out. We ONLY have liberals. and yes that should scare the living bejeesus out of everyone.

God preserve us from the liberals (who nowadays are frequently everything but liberal). When someone in the ANC suggested some years ago that marijuana be legalized, it was the DA that jumped on his head. It was right there that they finally lost my vote. At least in the national elections; on municipal level I still supported them simply because they tend to be better at administering things than the ANC, but already I am beginning to have some doubts...

Alas, for all its ideals of liberty and tolerance, liberalism frequently descends into politically correct fascism, feminazis, racist witch hunts etc. etc. There are authoritarians all over the political spectrum.
BoogieMonster (September 29, 2016, 09:02:03 AM):
Am I the only one noticing how we've made tertiary education the new matric?

Nobody in my family ever attended uni before me (that was a lot of expectations let me tell you). And for this exact reason: They could never afford it. The fact that I could go was the result of at least (by my count) 2 generations before's efforts. It took all that time to amass the wealth necessary to SCRAPE me through university. None of them, nor me, ever actually expected such a feat to be possible at all. University was where rich people and geniuses on grants went. It wasn't for "little 'ol us", and for all those people that was OK and they did generally well with their lives anyway.

These kids though, they see it a bit differently don't they? A university degree is their birthright, the state's duty to provide FOR ALL, and somehow my duty to pay for. Every time I look at the news these days I'm stunned by the entitlement and lack of perspective. I'm blown away by the arrogance, dismayed at the lack of responsibility. Even in this case: "I throw rocks, as is my right, don't you dare try to stop me".

Yes, they do feel aggrieved. They do feel hard done by. And, in a way, I agree. Having the state hand out stuff to them from the moment they were born to the moment they graduated high-school, our state has stunted their development to the point that they cannot conceive of doing anything for themselves. And that's a catastrophe.
brianvds (September 29, 2016, 11:31:56 AM):
All over the world, a B degree pretty much is the new matric. Without it you struggle. It's a good question whether this is really necessary. Well, here in South Africa perhaps, because a matric certificate doesn't guarantee basic literacy and numeracy. Only way to tell if someone can read is if he has a university degree.

But I wonder whether something else is at work here, and this is something I have long wondered about.

Suppose you start a college to educate people who were formerly not educated, say, you award diplomas in gardening and domestic work. Well, from the employer's point of view, someone with such a diploma is likely worth more than someone without, so before long, it becomes almost impossible to get a job as domestic worker or gardener unless you have a post school certificate in those fields.

In other words, I wonder whether in this way society unconsciously conspires to force people to undergo all manner of education and training that is actually quite unnecessary and could have been done on the job. From what I hear, people with a university degree decidedly stand a better chance to get employed, but I'm not sure they necessarily get employed in the field they studied. It would not surprise me at all to learn that there are thousands of supermarket cashiers with degrees in biblical studies, sociology and political science.

But if you have a supermarket, why appoint someone with matric if you can get someone with a degree, at the same salary?

Are we perhaps over-educating ourselves, quite unnecessarily? And in the meantime, while we turn out political scientists on an industrial scale, our industries can't complete projects because of a shortage of welders and plumbers and electricians, etc. etc. Everyone wants a degree; no one wants to do the actual work, but they don't want us to import Zimbabweans to do it either.

In short, huge numbers of South Africans live in an unsustainable fantasy world, that will come crashing down around them before long.
Rigil Kent (September 29, 2016, 12:31:01 PM):
Poor NMMU, my own alma mater, is now truly between a rock and a hard place. It suspended classes for the time being, but is now being threatened with legal action if it does not resume its academic year soon.

In stark contrast with all this shit, attagirl!

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