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  • Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Students

  • Students threaten to boycott classes
    February 05, 2007

    HARARE – The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) says it will soon boycott classes starting 14 February to force the government to reverse a hike in tuition fees imposed late last year.

    ZINASU president Promise Mkwananzi told a press conference in Harare yesterday that the students were demanding loans of Z$1.2 million per semester per student.

    ZINASU gave the government until 13 February to respond to their demand.

    Students at state universities and colleges are required to pay tuition fees of about Z$566 000 per semester, an amount the students say is above their reach.

    President Robert Mugabe’s government stopped giving loans to students in February last year citing lack of funds.

    "We demand an immediate reversal of the fees hike, and we are giving the government up to 13 of February 2007 to respond in a positive manner," said Mkhwananzi.

    "Rallying around the clarion call of save our education, ZINASU shall embark on an indefinite class boycott from 14th of February 2007 if the government fails to address our plight," he said.

    ZINASU says a total of 77 500 out of 250 000 university and college students in Zimbabwe had dropped out of their studies over the past year because of lack of funds.

    Washington Mbizvo, the permanent secretary in the ministry of higher education, said the government was not in a position to fund every student, hence the new policy.

    "What the government is doing is to find sponsors who can pay for deserving cases. The government has no money, period," said Mbizvo.

    Zimbabwe’s education system once lauded as one of the best in Africa has virtually crumbled because of under-funding and poor management.

    Protests by university and college students over deteriorating standards and high fees are common in Zimbabwe. - ZimOnline

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