Categories
CURRENT AFFAIRS NEWS

GZU students protest over poor conditions

By Felix Machiwenyika/ Hazvinei Mwanaka/Sukuoluhle Ndlovu | Newsday
One minute read

RIOT police on Thursday fired teargas canisters to disperse students at Great Zimbabwe University (GZU), who stormed the institution’s Mashava campus protesting against poor diet, unsafe drinking water, hiked tuition fees and withdrawal of wi-fi facilities.

GZU acting vice-chancellor, Andrew Chindanya, confirmed the students’ protests and said they were engaging the union leaders to resolve their grievances.

“I am in the process of talking to them now, we are trying to resolve the situation,” he said.

A student who requested anonymity accused riot police of brutality in crushing the protests which he claimed had been cleared by police in Masvingo.

“We were given the permission to engage in a peaceful demo, but to our surprise the police and campus security guards stormed us with tear smoke and fired guns at us,” he said.

“The standards of living for students have drastically deteriorated, there is shortage of water and sometimes it’s dirty,” another student said.

The demonstrations started in the morning, with groups of students blocking roads to the campus.

“The tuition fee was hiked without consulting us, where do they think we will get that money from? We all know our economic situation. We pay our fees and yet still the campus facilities and management is so poor,” one student who was at the scene said.

“The police arrived at the scene and threw teargas canisters at the students in a bid to force us abandon the demonstration, but we shall continue until the situation is resolved. At least they should provide us with tangible solutions. We want to be treated equally with other students from other campuses, why do they segregate us yet we are from the same university and paying same fees,” said another female student who declined to be named.

Categories
CURRENT AFFAIRS

40% off fees for students on industrial attachment

by Talent Gumpo

TERTIARY students on industrial attachment heaved a sigh of relief yesterday when the government slashed their attachment fees by 40% to promote inclusive and quality education in line with Sustainable Development Goals’ Vision 2030.

In a statement, Higher and Tertiary Education permanent secretary Desire Mutize Sibanda said the students would now be required to pay 60% of tuition fees with immediate effect.

“The ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology is pleased to advise all parents, guardians, sponsors that all higher and tertiary education students on industrial attachment/teaching practice will now be required to pay 60% of tuition fees with immediate effect,” he said.

“…the decision was influenced by the economic environment and the socio-economic status of the majority of the students.”

Sibanda said the decision was influenced by the economic environment and the socio-economic status of the majority of the students.

“Students on attachment meet the costs of accommodation, food, and transport to and from work. The ministry considered the variable and fixed costs attendant to students’ supervision and utilisation of teaching and learning facilities,” he said.

“In reducing the cost to 60% of tuition, the ministry considered that institutions require funds to meet supervisory costs for each student on attachment albeit the majority of students continue to access library and other learning facilities and social developments of the country.”

Last year, the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) petitioned then Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo demanding the scrapping of attachment fees for all students on industrial attachment.

Zinasu secretary-general, Ashley Pfunye said the government should have scrapped 60% of the fees.

Categories
CURRENT AFFAIRS NEWS

Residents object to construction of Nust hostels

PROPERTY owners in Bulawayo’s Selbourne Park, Matsheumhlope and Riverside, have objected to the proposed construction of halls of residence for National University of Science and Technology (Nust) students in their area, saying this would cause overpopulation and a spike in the crime rate.

BY SHARON SIBINDI | Newsday

Local councillor, Silas Chigora said most property owners in the area were against the construction of hostels by Zimre Property Investment Limited and Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ ).

“The residents are against the move, saying crime will increase in the area. To make matters worse, Gwanda Road is always busy and just imagine 3 000 people crossing that road every day. At times accidents may occur,” he said.

Contacted for comment, Zimre managing director, Edson Muvingi said the hostels were not exclusively for Nust students, but would benefit students from other tertiary institutions.

“…Crime will increase in the area … Gwanda Road is always busy and just imagine 3 000 people crossing that road every day. At times accidents may occur..,” 

“We are not intending to build accommodation exclusively for Nust students. There are about eight major tertiary institutions that we are targeting. There is a serious student accommodation crisis in Bulawayo and our model provides for custom-made, study-friendly facilities,” he said.

“Currently, students are accommodated in all manner and form of accommodation at pre-emptive rentals. So many students are already renting within these specific areas. Nust and other tertiary institutions are excited about the prospects of such private investments. I may not be able to address questions relating to perceived personal gain or loss.

“We are informed that the university is also securing land for student accommodation off campus. Our investment model is long term, where we hold the structures in perpetuity and benefit from both rental and capital value appreciation or a reasonable terminal value.

“The profile of our investors also requires so, as they have long-term liability profiles. In an unstable economic environment, on campus built, operate and transfer arrangements, where the tenure for recovery of both capital and profit is fixed, can be a nightmare. We have had the benefit of our experience.”