UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

CLOSURE OF MUSIC DEPARTMENTS AT TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

 INSTITUTIONS STATEMENT ISSUED BY MTUTUZELI, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR EDUCATION

The UDM expresses its grave concerns at closure of music departments at various tertiary institutions, such as UWC, UDW and Natal Technikon. The UDM expresses its disgruntlement at the state of affairs which have led to the sacrifice of intellectual engagements. This is so because the music department is not the only small department that is under threat. Other such departments include language departments. Talented students are now being marginalised through loosing opportunities to develop their talents into a career.

The Chief Director for higher education, Ahmed Essop said that it is the individual institutions and not his department that decide which departments should close. However, many heads of departments and senior lecturers belief that the notion of rationalisation is being taken too far and hence music departments are being marginalised. Much of the defence in a meagre attempt to explain is based on the maintainence of state subsidies. In order to maintain and increase state subsidies institutions are forced to offer what attracts the majority of students, thus marginalizing smaller departments.

The UDM challenges the Minister of Education and tertiary institutions to innovatively seek solutions and partnerships with the private sector in order to ensure the survival of this and other Departments.

Enquiries:
Prof. L. M. Mbadi, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Education

Cape Town
08 May 2001