Education a preserve for the elite

A NUMBER of students from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) face the possibility of deferring studies for a year after the institution’s authorities threatened that students who fail to make a down payment of $200 for fees by 13 February 2012 will be sent away. BPRA condemns this move as a sign of commercialisation of education. Disadvantaged students that are not under the cadetship programme may be forced to drop out as education is slowly becoming a preserve for t

The system will not only alleviate the suffering of the parents in raising fees but will also assist students to progress. While BPRA consults Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights for advice, it also urges the responsible authorities to ensure an extension of this semester’s registration period and allow students to make binding long term payment plans. NUST authorities should also consult widely (with students, parents, guardians, stakeholders) and produce a standard policy regarding registration requirements.

Residents request adequate health care facilities

Emganwini, Cowdray Park and Matsheumhlophe residents have expressed dismay at the failure of the authorities to construct clinics in their respective areas. The residents requested adequate and fully functional health care facilities. In 2010 Matsheumhlophe residents attended a ceremony that was graced by government and local authority officials, which was held to declare an intention to build a clinic to serve residents from ward 4.

To date the area where the clinic is expected to be constructed is still idle with no sign of development. Emganwini and Cowdray Park residents on the other hand have to commute long distances to neighbouring suburbs to access health care facilities, or are forced to visit clinics in the city centre. This is disadvantageous especially when patients are faced with emergencies or for those that cannot afford private clinics and hospitals. It is thus imperative that the local authority establishes clinics in those three areas.

Council should control parasites

Residents are calling on the city council to resume parasite control in residential areas as residential areas are becoming infested with rodents, mosquitoes and other insects. Residents also emphasised the need for the city council to spray water logged areas to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes and other parasites that have the potential of bringing diseases. Residents also raised the issue of unclean drainages that harbour insects and parasites affecting the wellbeing of residents.

While the city council has previously said it has inadequate funding to undergo normal spraying exercises, BPRA believes that the city council should fulfil its mandate of ensuring a healthy environment in Bulawayo. The city council is thus urged to resume pest control and clean out drainages.

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