The DA is calling on the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation to put measures in place to ensure that universities and TVET colleges have adequate norms and standards for safety and security. This will help in ensuring the safety of both students and staff and curb gender-based violence in universities and TVET colleges.
The Department has recently indicated that there will be an implementation plan for the phased rollout of the Safety and Security Minimum Norms and Standards at TVET colleges which will be approved by the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, by 30 June 2023. The Department has also indicated that there will be a report on the implementation of the Safety and Security Minimum Norms and Standards in selected universities and TVET colleges which will be approved by him.
It is deeply concerning that the Department has decided to rollout the implementation of Safety and Security Minimum Norms and Standards only in selected universities and TVET colleges, instead of rolling it out in all universities and TVET colleges, including all the institutions falling under the Post-School Education and Training system. With the fourth quarter crime statistics indicating a troubling trend in rising violence, the Department has to ensure that institutions of higher learning are safe spaces for students and staff. There should not be violence in these institutions and instances like the tragic killing of the UWC student, Kamva Dasi, must be prevented.
The DA in the portfolio committee on higher education, science and innovation will be submitting the following parliamentary questions to the Minister:
Why will not all universities and TVET colleges be implementing the Safety and Security Minimum Norms and Standards?
How many TVET colleges will be selected to implement the Safety and Security Minimum Norms and Standards and what is the criteria that will be used to select these TVET colleges?
Given the rising levels of gender-based violence and other crimes in institutions of higher learning and training, why is the Department deferring the full implementation of Safety and Security Minimum Norms and Standards to the 2024/25 financial year?
What is the Department doing currently to ensure the safety and security of students and staff in institutions of higher learning and training across the country?
The DA will continue to fight for improved safety and security in institutions of higher education and training. We will continue to put pressure on the Department to ensure there are adequate safety and security measures in place in these institutions.
Submitted by the DA