The Department of Higher Education believes leadership workshops are the solution to the violent tendencies that has accompanied student politics in the last three weeks.
In the run up to the elections of student representatives at Wits University three participating parties got involved in a physical spat, where Tswane University of Technology (TUT) saw chaos in the form of flying rocks the day before its elections.
According to the department spokesperson, Khaye Nkwanyana “these students will be the future business and political leaders of our country,” if history is anything to go by.
Nkwanyana used current political leaders as examples to explain his statement, including Minister Blade Nzimande, who was a student leader when he was at the University of Natal in the late ’70s.
The purpose of the programme is to help the student leaders understand their roles and duties. The department also hopes the series of workshops will create tolerance amongst the students as a useable skill.
Nzimande asked the department to develop a programme in which student leaders would be the main focus, but these violent events are just a coincidence, said Nkwanyana.
Resources have been set aside for this programme and the department believes the students will come out of it as better leaders.
Nkwanyana added that the students need to work together, “no matter how many differences they have.”
The workshops will start in October after new SRC’s for the country’s 26 public universities have been elected. They will be hosted around the country for a period of two months.
The University of Pretoria, Wits and TUT have already elected their student representatives, with the rest of the country’s varsities set to vote by the end of September.
Pitched & Unpublished: 1 September 2015