One thing for sure that’s clear is that South Africa will always be behind when it comes to education. We will always pass out on many opportunities because of this ‘black mentality’ we have when it comes to education. Let’s be honest, some still believe black people shouldnt even be studying at universities. How backwards is that? Many things have to change in this system of ours. As a final year student , I still struggle to understand why in my institution, only a small number of students are accepted in the post-graduate programme. I mean, every year the number of students doing psychology at my institution is never below 400. in undergaduate programmes you’ll find the lecture halls full of students but go to post-graduate and you’ll find 20 students, what happened to the rest? didn’t they qualify to get admission to do their honors? I asked this question to one of the staff members, and she told me the reason they take such a small number of students for Honours is because they have limited staff and resources, whose problem is that though? The students??
Psychology is one of the fields this country is lacking. South Africa needs psychologists, even the Minister of Higher Education knows that Psychology and Social Work are among the fields that are lacking but he and his team are not doing anything to remedy the situation. If the issue is limited staff and resources then get more resources, hire more staff so that these students don’t drop out of school. It’s really foolish to claim that the country needs psychologists but then fold your arms while countless are being turned down because there was no space. My institution clearly states that in order for you to qualify you need to have 65%, but even those who have that 65% still don’t get in, they only take those with 90%. Why isn’t the Government doing something about this? Why not open training schools or centres where these students can be given the opportunity to further their studies and get their honours degree, why not start online teaching and offer online courses that will teach them the very same things those who made it in post-grad are being taught, that way the number of psychologists grow, the number of social workers grow, and both fields helped heal and build our society.
It’s really sad every time you watch the news, or buy a newspaper, you read about university students dropping out due to fees or high pressure or pregnancy but some drop out because universities don’t have anything else to offer them to help them further their education. Learnerships/ scholarships, even bursaries are only for those doing medicine or law but what about those students in Humanities Faculty? don’t they deserve the same opportunities? in fact, isn’t psychology a science itself? Even to get funding when you doing Psychology is a mission but those in Accounting, Medicine and Agriculture never have to worry about a thing, because there are many funding opportunities for them.
There are even trips to Cuba for those doing medicine, and that’s good and all, but why aren’t aspiring psychology students taken to Cuba also to further their learning and get exposure,why aren’t there psychology workshops held in every institution that offers psychology as a course? THAT NEEDS TO STOP!!! The country doesn’t just depend on accountants and economists or doctors even lawyers, but it also needs social workers, psychologists and criminologists because they too, play a role in our country. They too deserve the same treatment and respect. We can’t all be funded by NSFAS now can we? So Mzansi we have a long way to go in terms of our education system and we can only get anywhere if we stop avoiding issues but tackling them head on and come up with solutions that will not only benefit us but also benefit generations to come!!!