After a relatively quiet 2020 on the protests front, our toyi-toyi season appears to be stumbling back to life.
Last week saw a few mornings of protests that shut down parts of the N2 around the R300.
Students have also been up in arms over their varsity fees and historic debt.
This led to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande having to answer a parliamentary question detailing the extent of historical debt and its consequences.
It turns out the degrees of more than 120 000 students are being withheld by universities, because of unpaid fees amounting to more than R526 million.
The idea of being indebted for something that is meant to provide you with a better life and eventual financial freedom, would be laughable, if it wasn’t so sad.
Jacob Zuma pretty much dumped students and the country in the poo during his last months in office.
Fully aware of the country’s dire financial straits, he promised protesting #FeesMustFall students free higher education.
Of course he knew that it was a promise that would be left to his successor to keep.
So was it merely a ruse; a tactic to divert attention from his troubles at the time; and an attempt to placate the ever-growing frustration and militancy among students?
It’s a question that will now never be answered, while President Cyril Ramaphosa must find a way to honour the pledge made by his predecessor on his behalf.
Predictably, the school hair story debacle is back, with a video of a teacher violently combing the hair of learners at the school gates.
Oh, the irony of learners being forced to conform before they can enter the place where we send them to learn how to succeed by standing out from the crowd.
With all the social and financial hiccups, and 2020 having forced us to adapt to home-schooling, perhaps it’s time to consider the continued significance of the conventional education model.
It is clear that we need to relook how we are educating our kids and what relevance that education has in the world as it unfolds post-Covid.
The lockdown has shown that the problems of vandalised buildings, uniformity, an acute shortage of resources, unequal outcomes, abuse, and the myriad of other challenges can finally be solved by adapted online learning.
Whichever way you argue against it, five million laptops and WiFi will still be cheaper and easier to manage than the alternatives.