The Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) has launched a first of its kind programme at Wits University.
A programme which aims to attempt to facilitate support and development of young black and progressive academics. The programme is also calling for more young people to take careers in the academic sphere. The YCLSA statement also states that “Too many of our academics are estranged from the struggles of the ordinary working class citizen”.
The launch attended by about 100 guests which included students, black and white academics, Wits SRC members, YCLSA members and the media.
Mluleki Delanga, YCL National Spokesperson who was the keynote speaker at the event said “we are not producing enough young progressive academics” and reiterated the importance of producing academics that will drive the narrative and teach the youth and the society principles of democracy, racialism, non-sexism and equality.
David Dickinson, professor of Sociology at Wits said he liked the launch because “it urges students to engage with critical issues, using academic knowledge, Marxism, left-wing thinking and other tools to engage with society”.
Delanga described the launch of the programme as an idea that students and comrades should take forward.
Dickinson also said the term ‘progressive academics’ in this context was used widely as it does not only refer to people who stand in lecture halls but also people/students that engage with ideas.”
Sira Sicetsha, Wits YCL chairperson said “a forum consisting of workers, students, and academics is to be established, there would be a public official launch where people would be invited to join, and this would be on voluntary basis”.
He also added that, academics like Dickinson would be responsible for running the programme through public lectures and debates.
Sicetsha described the launch as important and necessary adding that “It is a platfom for students, workers, and academics that will deal the production of knowledge and challenging the status quo”