Online study works better
WHY should business pump billions more into tertiary education (“Business must join the debate on university fees”, Weekend Argus, September 24) when the solution lies elsewhere? Business already pays directly or indirectly or hands over the bulk of South Africa’s taxes: company income tax, secondary tax on dividends, VAT, personal income tax, excise duties, custom duties, fuel levies, capital gains tax, skills development levies, and so on. And a new tax is looming on the horizon – to fund the ANC’s socialistic National Health Scheme.
First, when one sees all the corruption, theft, over-invoicing, tenderpeneurism, waste, mismanagement, maladministration, cronyism, nepotism, and destruction around us, why should business contribute more which in effect will not only be subsidising this kind of behaviour, but also be an additional tax?
Second, we are in the middle of a few simultaneous revolutions equivalent to the industrial and railroad revolutions of the 1800s and 1900s. The information revolution and the renewable energy revolution are happening as we speak. Why should our students walk or drive to a building for 5, 10, 15 or 20km, sometimes through traffic jams or crime-infested areas, sit down in a classroom or a lecture theatre, waste valuable timewriting down notes and then go back home and study this?
This is very inefficient when we have the internet. And it would be much cheaper to give each student a free laptop and free data where they can download lecture notes and start studying straight away. Online testing and exams can also be done on a daily or weekly basis.
This is much cheaper than the current government subsidy which pays for inefficient brick and mortar structures. If the government does not provide leadership, private companies will see the gap and disrupt the system by providing online high school and university education, especially with the decline in the quality of school and university education being an increasing reality due to the deliberate dumbing-down effects of transformation.
Why would parents send their children to local dumbed-down universities, where buildings are razed with impunity and where the ANC government is clueless as to how to handle this crisis? Foreign online university education is a reality and will soon become cheaper than the fees parents are paying, will be free of disruption and have the bonus of providing a classy foreign university qualification.