Higher education - key to Indian progress (In The Indian South African)
This paper has attempted to prove that the key to the economic salvation of the Indian in South Africa lies in his greater participation in higher education. In 1964, there were 48,000 White students in the various universities in South Africa (full-time and part-time) representing over 1. 5% of the population. In 1966, Indian student enrolment at all universities here and overseas numbered about 3, 000 representing about three-fifth per cent calculated on an estimated population of 550,000. To raise the percentage to 1 we need some 2,500 students and to bring it on par with the White community there is need for some 5,250 students. This is however not possible for some time to come. However, with the intensive expansion programme for high school education contemplated by the Division of Indian Education the position would be different by 1980 when the estimated Indian population should be about 850,000. The university potential if brought on par with present European trends would be 12,750. Working on the assumption that the new University College at Chiltern Hills would absorb 5,000, there would be need by then for two other university colleges unless of course integration at university level becomes accepted. The observation has been made in other quarters that South Africa is facing a shortage of skilled manpower. The country needs to tap the potential of the university or college trained Indian youth alongside with the resources existing among the other Non-White races. Non-White youth can make a positive contribution in securing the future economy of South Africa. There is need for a greater diversification of the type of degrees taken. Attempts should be made to eradicate the snob value attached to certain professions, e.g. medicine. Perhaps an increased degree of nationalized medicine would solve this problem. There is room for Indian youth in Commerce, Economics, Social Welfare, Librarianship, Pharmacy, Agriculture, Engineering and Administration. The gap between the salary scales of White and Non-White professionals must be swiftly narrowed down so that eventually there should be no gap at all. The existing disparities give room for discontentment. Not enough Indian women are pursuing university careers. There is need to breakdown further the traditional conservatism among our people. Finally, an acknowledgment must be made that during the last decade qr so great strides have been made in educational and economic life of the community and this has been so because men with vision and having the cause of the Indian community at heart have been at the helm of affairs. May the educationists of the future be guided by the same philanthropic feeling.