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Story by Dumezweni Ndweni

Young people in South Africa are often accused of not making the most of opportunities at their disposal, and while on the other hand they the youth would argue that they do not have the opportunities to do what is close to their hearts. So as an alternative to the highly competitive, saturated and expensive University education in South Africa; Public Colleges are easily accessible at cost-effective fees and within a walking distance for the community. As much as these colleges offer easy access to tertiary education there is a notion or opinion that the standard is not as good and appeals to “less academically gifted students” something very far from truth. Contrary to this false popular belief these colleges offer great deal of experience, knowledge and skill development. There are over 50 registered and accredited public TVET Colleges in Mzansi and over 264 campuses in rural and urban areas. So this year’s Matriculants should not stress themselves about how and where to further their studies, these Colleges are as good. Dumezweni Ndweni caught up with Thandeka Shabangu a student at South West Gauteng College in Soweto.

Thandeka thank you for taking your time to talk to us, please share with your background

I am 20 year old College student, from Orange Farm South of Johannesburg, in a township called Drieziek. I did my Primary schooling at Matiwane Combined School thereafter I went to Thetha Secondary School where I matriculated.

What are you currently studying?

Safety in Society, it deals with policing, and I want to be a Johannesburg Metro Police Officer.

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What is your view on the opinion that Colleges are not as good as Universities?

People with that opinion should come and study in Colleges to find out first hand or ask more questions before they form such opinions.

Why do you think Colleges are important?

At Colleges you learn more innovative ideas and you gain enough knowledge. They sort of prepare you for the next level in life or your studies rather.

Is this your first year or second year?

This my first year.

Why did you choose your current campus?

George Tabor campus- South West Gauteng College, it offers the course that I wanted to study.

Tell us a bit about your campus

It is a cool place to study, and enjoy life in general it has cool people and lectures. It is not big which suits me better.

What is the importance of higher education?

It gives you options in life to be anything you want to be.

What is your take on #feesmustfall campaign?

The campaign is good because it creates more opportunities for people with matric and gives access to education for many students coming from poor families.

What do you think about the current state of education in Mzansi?

It is not good, because some of the students have been accepted some they have not been accepted so it’s very painful to wait for nothing. So access to education is still a big challenge in Mzansi even though there efforts to rectify the problem.

What do you think should change in our current education system?

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The demanding of higher marks in order to get what you aimed to study.

How is college life for you personally?

College life is very simple it’s like moving from one step to another, you just have to know what you want to achieve.

Anything that surprised you at tertiary?

The lectures do not care about what you do or do not do, unlike in school where teachers are like your guardians in the absence of your parents. Here everything relies on choices you make.

What do you do on your spare time?

I sing and model as a hobby of course as well as play Ping pong just ease up my day.

What are the biggest challenges college students come across after and before finishing college?

They do not have money for transportation at times and so have to absent not because they want to but because the situation forces them.

What advice do you have for girls in high school in terms of education and life in College?

Dedicate yourself to your studies because you have dreams you want to achieve, succeeding in your studies will bring you closer to your dreams.