Learn From Julias Malema, He Scooped a BA Degree Through Distance Learning, UNISA.
Having started his studies towards this degree in 2011, Malema speaks on the importance of perseverance as he highlights that the road to this point has been difficult given his political responsibility in the country. “At times, I had to miss exams, like in 2014, during national elections. But I am happy that I finally concluded my junior degree and I have now registered for my honours in philosophy.”
Malema, who also has a diploma in youth development from Unisa, says because the university is the best distance learning university in the country, and he could not study full time, it was a natural choice for him to study at Unisa.
“In addition to offering world class distance learning education, one of the best parts of studying at Unisa is the personal enhancement of self-discipline in academic work—it allows individuals to develop and this is what I celebrate the most. One will take this very far in life.”
Speaking on challenges experienced in balancing work and studies, Malema said he knows that time management is the biggest challenge faced by Unisa students, who often have to juggle work, family and studies. He said students must take the responsibility for creating time to study.
Once you have taken a decision to start something, you must finish it, no matter what. This is the attitude that informs everything I do. Like I said before, it is hard to study and work full time. But if you value education you will treat study time as a sacred time. You also have to be prepared to make all the necessary sacrifices and prioritise studying. It pays off in the end…If anti-apartheid activists could study under conditions of political instability, torture, and imprisonment, we have no excuse but to soldier on and attain quality academic qualifications.”
Unisa occupies a unique space in South Africa and Africa as it creates education opportunities for as many people as possible where there would otherwise be none. Having been a part of the Unisa student system, and, as he now step into the ranks of its alumni—many of whom have become some of Africa’s greatest leaders—Malema says Unisa’s alumni must strengthen its autonomous voice in the running of the university to protect it as alma mater.
“This means we must all be able to say what kind of university we all want to belong to. We must also develop quality graduates, and cutting-edge research that speaks to the struggles faced by the people of this country and continent and provides viable alternative solutions that will usher in economic freedom.”
On the importance of education for the country and continent, Malema adds: “Being part of the generational struggle for the total economic emancipation of the whole of Africa, I know that economic emancipation without education is not sustainable. Education must remain a universal right, and that is why it must be free.”