One of those times when one asks oneself “What would Jesus do?” There have been protests by students across the country recently, demanding that university education be free. The immediate question this old bookkeeper asks is who will pay for it?
Like so many other things in South Africa, the problem is real — and universal. We have moved into a world where income inequality threatens most countries. As the rich get richer and the rest of us get poorer, things like a university education move out of the average person’s reach. Rightly or wrongly, many see a university degree as the key to a good job so being unable to pay for an MBA at Harvard, say, or the University of Cape Town is perceived as a lockout from a real future and an escape from poverty.
My own take is that we need to rethink the way that we have run society over the past 50 or 60 years or so. The computer has stripped away so many middle class jobs that did not need a university background but paid reasonably well. So, how do we restructure our economic system to make room for everyone. And just what would Jesus do if confronted by our current dilemmas?