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A month later, King Hintsa TVET College students vow to not return to classes

BY YOLANDA PALEZWENI - MAY 17, 2017
A month later, King Hintsa TVET College students vow to not return to classes

Protesting students at the King Hintsa TVET College's Teko Campus in Butterworth on Wednesday vowed not to go back to school until all their demands are met. The students have not been to class for a month now.

They are demanding, among other things, that the college finds accommodation for students; refund them some monies paid to institution as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) paid for their fees; and that the Student Representative Council (SRC) budget to be audited as it has been allegedly misused.

The students are also demanding that their NSFAS monthly allowances to increase after they were decreased.

Speaking to RNEWS, Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) Branch Chairperson, Ongeza Mpithi, said that they are now prioritising the issue of allowance increases and that all students should get NSFAS allowance for food and accommodation.

“We believe that there is no student, who can go to school and concentrate on a hungry stomach, the R400 they are giving us won’t be enough to last the whole month,” said Mpithi.

He added that, the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, has increased the budget for NSFAS for all the student to benefit, and that the decrease of allowances is totally unacceptable.

“We’ve been telling the management that the students do not have enough residences, and the monthly allowance is not enough, but nothing has been done about our issues,” described Mpithi.

However, a meeting between parents and the management was held at the Teko campus on Monday to discuss way forward as the mid-year exams are approaching.

At the meeting, a resolution was taken that students must stop the protest and go back to classes and prepare for exams.

The students claim that the resolution was taken after parents were misled by the management - hence, they will not honour the agreements made at that meeting.

“We’ve been engaging with the management about our issues and they never taken us seriously. We are not going back to classes until our demands are met,” said Mpithi.

He added that, if they go back to classes now, they still won’t have time to prepare for the exams.

The college has obtained a court interdict, which was issued for the protesting students at the campus to vacate the premises on Tuesday and come back after the 29th of May 2017, provided each student individually in his or her own writing commits to attending classes peacefully.

However, the students have vowed not to go back to school.

“Until management implement our demands we are not going back to classes even if it means staying away the whole year,” said Mpithi.

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