Tuition Fees and Democracy

Democracy empowers the citizens of a nation. This is a system where every person is treated equally. Generally, democracy refers to, everyone having an equal right to vote and everyone’s opinion having equal value. But, this is just a narrow way of defining democracy. Sometimes democracy means more than just equality in votes and opinion; sometimes it means that everyone has equal rights. But, what does equality in rights mean? is it only about food, is it only about having a place to live? Or is it about everyone having equal rights, and access to education or medical facility whenever they need as a citizen of a nation? In a democracy, it can be any of them. But this article is not about democracy and its relation to all the basic human rights. It is about why democracy is vital for ensuring the human right, mass education.

Education is one of the basic human rights for the people of a nation. Like every other human right, it is supposed to be affordable for all. But, unfortunately, in most cases, it is not cheap. Institutional learning and education must be easily accessible for all, instead it is now gradually becoming more expensive in many nations and gradually becoming inaccessible for the mass population. As a result, the education sector is becoming more and more biased although it is supposed to be liberal for all. As the tuition fees rise, the poor students face difficulties in continuing education. For that reason, now only the people who have enough economic solvency gets the chance to acquire higher education. But isn’t it completely irrational? The education sector must be democratic and open for all. Instead, there are many governments who are trying to make it irrational and try to get economic benefits from it, which is a clear violation of basic human rights, and this irrational and undemocratic procedure must be opposed. Back in October 2015, the South African government tried to impose higher tuition fees on their students specifically on the university students. As a result, many students had to leave school without completing their studies due to their economic solvency. But, the amazing fact was all the students got united and prevented that injustice which was destroying the student democracy, their right to get a higher education. That movement is popularly known as “FeesMustFall” movement. It was the movement which gave the realization that, how higher tuition fees are destroying the intellect of numerous meritorious students; how unjust it is to impose a high amount of fees on education which gives the base to the democracy. Education is the element which upholds democracy. Without education, democracy is worthless. Because, education gives people the sense of right and wrong, it helps people to get more involved with democratic issues like; voting. There is no doubt that the democracy is essential for mass education, and so does the mass education is for democracy.

The tuition fees must be rational for every student. It should not exceed the limit at which it becomes a burden for students. There are many developed countries which provide free education for the students, but maybe it is not possible for the developing countries or the least developed countries. But, an exception cannot be an example and, in most cases, as it is not possible to provide free education for all, the governments should try to keep tuition fees as minimal as possible, so that every student get the chance to flourish their knowledge as per their talent. Tuition fees must be democratic, rational and affordable for all so that every democratic nation can uphold the flag of democracy.