Massive Drop Outs, Prostitution After Tuition Fees Hike
Tertiary education student representative councils from across the country have bemoaned the recent tuition fee increment by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary education saying it has forced students out of colleges with some engaging in immoral activities.
Presenting oral evidence before the Daniel Molokele chaired Higher and Tertiary Education Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, student representatives said a number of students had dropped out of colleges.
“Things are not well within intuitions of higher learning a slight number of students have checked as opposed to previous years. Tertiary education should not be at the mess of the economic crisis” said a member of the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Student Representative Council (SRC)
Abiona Mataranyika president of the UZ SRC said the increment had resulted in the abuse of female students and also forced some into criminal activities.
“We have seen the abuse of female students who cannot pay their fees and men take advantage by abusing them. Some are carrying side hustles and male students engaging in drug abuse” said Mataranyika
Students from the Midlands State University (MSU) according to Liam Takura Kanhenga, had deferred with others turning to artisanal mining.
“Almost 400 students have deferred and others have turned to artisanal mining as a way out. The so called student loans are a death sentence to most students as they cannot afford to repay them and they are always in debt” said Kanhenga
The Zimbabwe National Student Union (ZINASU) said the increment was illegal; as due process was not taken.
“Mr. Chair it is unfortunate that we are sitting in here whilst the same issue that brought us here is continuing out there. We are discussing it but due process was not taken as the Minister did not consult us (Students).
“We have seen students engaging in intergenerational relationships, normally we had 70% registering but as we speak 50, 4 % have not registered and they are out there. Instead of pampering POLADS leaders with hefty packages why can’t that money be channeled towards tertiary education” charged ZINASU president Takudzwa Ngadziore
The Government increased tuition fees by over 100% way beyond the reach of many parents who are employed in the civil service.