Gross human rights violations at universities and colleges (03-07-07)


By Natasha Hove

BULAWAYO: – A survey by a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) has unearthed gross human rights violations at Zimbabwe' s colleges and universities, which it says are linked to crumbling standards at higher and tertiary institutions.


This is according to a study by the Students Solidarity Trust (SST) titled -State of the Higher and Tertiary Education Sector in Zimbabwe 2006: Inside Pandora ‘s Box. The study was carried out at Zimbabwe ‘s state tertiary institutions and universities.

The violations-according to SST- included unlawful arrest, unlawful detention, torture, expulsion and suspensions, assault, political discrimination and death threats.

‘The year 2006 saw a number of unwelcome and catastrophic developments for students and the student movement. This was mainly due to the existence of repressive legislation in the name of the Public Order and Security Act among others.

“It was further exacerbated by the fee hikes, which constituted the centre of most demonstrations by students in the year, ” read in part the report by the SST.

SST, which was founded in 2002 by former student leaders and provides solidarity to the student movement in Zimbabwe also notes in the 30 page report that incidents of assaults and torture of students were also widespread last year.

“It almost became the order of the day as the police (not only) tortured students to get information about their leaders but also as a form of punishment as if to warn students never to demonstrate again, ” it added.

It also notes that the introduction of fees at tertiary institutions and reduced government grants had made access to higher education a privilege of the rich. Educationists say Zimbabwe’s declining education standards mirror the seven year economic decline- CAJ News.

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