Students suffer as lecturers strike

HARARE - Students at the Harare Polytechnic have gone for more than four weeks without lectures as part-time tutors have been on strike after the college refused to pay them.

Reportedly, college principal Steven Raza has refused to obey the Ministry of Higher Education directive that the college pay the salaries of part-time lecturers. According to the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), Raza is the one to blame for the plummeting standards of education at the countrys premier polytechnic.

Raza has been using his iron muscle to asphyxiate anyone who might be a challenge. For a number of years the students at the institution have been denied the right to representation (Student Representative Council). Raza imposes his own puppets regardless of genuine and consistent calls for proper representation by students, said ZINASU spokesperson Kudakwashe Chakabva.

Students who spoke to The Zimbabwean said they were worried by the continued absence of lecturers from classes. We have paid the fees and yet we are not learning at all. The ministry should intervene in order to help us get our education, one student stated.

ZINASU is disturbed by events where students who sacrificed their belongings, such as cattle and goats, in order to raise fees are denied their academic rights and freedoms. ZINASU is thus urging the students of Harare Poly to rise in demand of protection of their right to education. We also call for a full investigation of the Raza administration, Chakabva added.

Education for many Zimbabweans is now a luxury with parents having to part with their lifetime earnings to put their children through colleges like Harare Polytechnic. Students pay at least US$400per term and at the moment commute only to find lecturers on strike.

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