The demonstrations in South Africa last year shed new light on South African’s extreme income inequality and ethical problems on how much universities are responsible to educate those in extreme poverty. The demonstrations began in October at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand when students blocked the entrance of a university when they heard that the tuition fee would rise by 10.5 % in 2016. The demonstrations spread to at least 10 more universities, forcing the closure of the top 10 universities. It was the biggest student protest in the country since Apartheid in 1994. Police have clashed with the protestors at the parliament in Cape Town and at the government buildings in the capital, Pretoria.
Many black students said that they came from poor families. They stated that the increase of fees, between 10% and 12%, will rob them of the opportunity to continue further studies. Students said the fee rise would only aggravate the discrimination between races because the average income of black families is far less than those of white families. Extreme income inequality remains a persistently stubborn problem more than two decades after the end of apartheid in 1994.
These demonstrations raise the issue of ethics of learning. Do not the universities have the right to lower the institution fees to provide equal education to black students and white students? The whole world should think about this problem. We should probably make the world in which every students can learn what they want without the consideration of their financial troubles.