By Own Correspondent
Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) Thursday protested against the exorbitant tuition fee hike in universities and delivered a petition to Higher and Tertiary Education minister, Amon Murwira.
This follows the increase of university fees by over 800% passing the RTGS$5 000 cap on fees previously announced by the government.
In a petition handed to the Education Minister, ZINASU secretary-general, Tapiwanashe Chiriga said the fees hikes take away the right to access education from a bulk of students supported by civil servants who are getting paltry salaries.
A parent employed by the same Education ministry has to save up for over half a year to pay fees for a single semester.
“It is a fact that cannot be disputed that the majority of the students have been unable to meet and satisfy the previous fees structures in their respective institutions.
This had made 2018 and 2019 record unprecedented numbers of students deferring their studies due to financial difficulties. Now, Honourable Minister, it would be a very sad abdication from logic to hike the same fees by a scaring 800%.
What should also be borne in mind is the fact that the life of a student on campus is made complete by other basic necessities that include but are not limited to transport, food, rentals and stationery.
Unless if the motive is to keep us out of school, this hike thus cannot be allowed to stand.
Hon Minister as a member of a government that is left as the biggest employer to the few of our parents who have a semblance of a salary one needs not to remind you of the meagre salaries our guardians are getting from your government. It thus defies all logic and sense that the Ministry would be seen approving fees hikes that are way beyond the financial capacities of your own employees,” reads part of the petition.
Midlands State University, University of Zimbabwe, National University of Science and Technology, Chinhoyi University of Technology and other state tertiary institutions pegged their fees at over RTGS$5 000.
At MSU a social sciences student who paid RTGS$598 before, now pays RTGS$5 792.
Law and other humanities students who were paying RTGS$523 now pay RTGS$5160 while those on work-related learning to pay an extra 200 which wasn’t there before.
While at NUST, applied sciences fees previously pegged at RTGS$545 are now at RTGS$4 934.