ZINASU calls for action

zinasu_logoHARARE Zimbabwes institutions of Higher Learning are engulfed in a pervasive crisis of encyclopaedic proportions partly because of our inactivity over the years - mainly due to the culture of fear that we have allowed to rule our lives.

It is no secret that the ministry responsible for higher education has chosen to turn the institutions under it into elitist forums where those with access to hard currency can come and enjoy the privilege of learning.

Go down to NUST where thousands of students are on the verge of failing to write exams because of diabolic tuition fees. At MSU hundreds of graduates cannot access their transcripts because of failure to pay exorbitant tuition fees hitherto many have resorted to manual labour to earn a living while our economy is in dire need of skilled manpower. Is this how to make a nation great Mr. Mudenge?

At polytechnics around the country, thousands of students are being denied the chance to register with the otherwise discredited HEXCO board because of failure to pay the outrageous fees demanded by the ministry.

Thousands of prospective bright university students graduating from high schools find themselves forced to work in the uniformed forces or as is the trend in the southern region of Zimbabwe to become migrant workers is South Africa and Botswana. It is clear that as a nation we are losing talented people with the capacity to change the fortunes of our nation all as a result of lack of a comprehensive and articulate policy to direct higher education. This is the tragedy of our nation.

To cap its failure to fund education the government then resorted to literally turning students to slaves through the cadetship scheme, which is completely partisan and unsustainable. ZINASU demands that the current circus that is in our ministry being administered by that old clown Mudenge should end immediately. We demand the reintroduction of the loan and grant scheme and as students we will not buy the hollow argument that the government is broke because what we demand is a policy that can open doors for the private sector to participate in line with global trends so that we can achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

At the University of Zimbabwe over 5000 students squat in garages in and around Mt Pleasant while their hostels have become safe havens for rats and bats. The closure was ruled illegal by Justice Hlatshwayo at the High court in July 2007 in case the of Trevor Marai & Anr vs Director of Accommodation & Catering Services University of Zimbabwe & 3 Ors HC 3592/07, but the order has been ignored by the Nyagura administration.

It is clear that the closure is a blatant political move aimed at demobilizing the students of Zimbabwe by some uncouth politicians fearing to lose their positions to a student led uprising.

ZINASU demands that the UZ admin comply with the court order immediately of face prosecution. In institutions where there are limited accommodation facilities; it is noble to contract the private sector to construct such facilities and offer accommodation at affordable rates.

At the University of Ghana halls of residence were constructed by the Teachers Social Fund (TSF) and the costs and interests paid off over a period of 20 years upon which they became University property; nothing can stop our government from adopting such prudent policies.

Post published in: Opinions

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