The Minority Front was established with a vision to promote minority rights as human rights, as espoused in modern democracies. The MF mission, amongst others, is to ensure that minorities in S.A are not side-lined.
In terms of education, many top bright Indian students, who want to pursue a career in medicine, have had their hopes shattered after becoming victims of the dreaded quota system. Instead of studying medicine in the country, they have to now look aboard. A quota system is a policy of limiting the number of minority group members into a business, school, etc.
These are some of the challenges that the Minority Front has been championing after it had learned that more and more Indian pupils are at a disadvantage when it comes to getting entrance into medical school and universities. The MF has called for the scrapping of quotas and Affirmative Action policies of the government, as far back as 2009, as these had a sunset clause of 2014.
Minority Front leader, Shameen Thakur Rajbansi, who is the voice and heart of the Indians, shared that while her party welcomes government’s commitment in addressing the imbalances of the past, it is important that minority groups are not sidelined and pushed aside. “Very often, we hear cases of the quota system being applied and Indian students are immediately at a disadvantage. Our children perform exceptionally well in matric with flying colours and most of the time, with straight As symbols, but when it comes to medical school entrance, it is virtually impossible. Hundreds of Indian students affected by the quota system have no alternative but to study medicine in China, Mauritius, India and other parts of the world. And the bitter-sweet pill on the top is even if they pass with flying colours, they still have to write a mandatory health profession’s board exam to practice in S.A. The Minority Front has raised the matter several times in the provincial legislature and this fell on deaf ears,” she said.
The Minority Front is always consistent in calling for the playing fields to be even and not only when it is election time, she noted. “Again, we are saying that we are mindful of the past imbalances and inequalities as a result of apartheid and its manifestations, but after almost 30 years into democracy, we should be moving forward as a country. Affirmative Action (AA) was there to correct the imbalances of the past and it cannot be there forever. We need for all South Africans including Indians to enjoy the same privileges, especially the born-frees. We also suffered the injustices and prejudices of the past. Key proposals made during various education debates in both the National assembly up until 2009 and continuously in the KZN Legislature is for the scrapping of the quintile system classification and funding for public schools. Each school must meet the norms and standards of a conducive teaching and learning culture, which includes a clean environment. All these require the education curriculum to change to include prayer and counselling sessions.
Schools require qualified teachers, cleaners, gardeners and teachers with specialised qualifications in physical education, mother-tongue language practitioners, librarians and guidance counsellors, who must also be career mentors. These can be achieved if our education budget is fair, equal and well utilised, as well as the education policy is positively amended.
At University, students need infrastructure allocated for their spiritual activities; course-counsellors, healthcare and social workers to guide our youth on wise decision-making, so that education goals and standards are achieved. As a nation our Human Development Index (HDI) level needs improvement. This improvement can only be accomplished with the targeted interventions the MF has been calling for, which includes building more specialised Universities and medical colleges.
The Minority Front will be relentless in its fight against all forms of racism and will ensure that all South African minorities, including Indians are treated with dignity, respect and given the same opportunities as other South Africans in this beautiful country of ours,” she concluded.