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against HEXCO decision to revise examination structure
National Students Union (ZINASU)
March 05, 2010
state of the education sector in Zimbabwe remains one of the stumbling
blocks to development in the country. The prohibitive cost of higher
education has heavily affected students with a record dropout rate
of 39% since the introduction of the dollarization of education
in March 2010.
ZINASU has been
involved in both lobbying and advocacy and protests in trying to
address the anomalies in the education fraternity. The Union held
several meetings with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary education
and some of the challenges were addressed. There is still need to
continue pressuring the Government to inject funds in resuscitating
the higher education sector. Cases of students' victimisations
have been on the increase with state apparatus victimising student
leaders at National
University of Science and Technology on Monday 1 March 2010,
a move that is unlawful and uncalled for.
There has been
an improvement in the number of colleges holding SRC elections and
ZINASU would like to commend all the college authorities in various
institutions who gave students the opportunities to choose SRC leaders
of their choice. This shows that the democratic space is widening
in some institutions of higher learning. The onus is now on colleges
like the University
of Zimbabwe and Harare Polytechnic College who are deliberately
delaying the holding of SRC elections.
Examination Council (HEXCO) held a consultative public meeting with
students from Gweru Polytechnic College on 1 March 2010 where they
announced that the Council is considering revisiting the structure
of the HEXCO examinations. The officials stated that they wanted
to reverse the current structure of 70% of results consisting of
examinations and 30% course work to 60% constituting course work
and 40% of the marks coming from writing examinations. This decision
has been met with serious criticism from the students who decried
the creation of room for manipulation by lecturers.
protested arguing that course work cannot consist of the huge part
of the results as it makes it easier for lecturers to fail the students
for example in the event that one turns down a love/ sexual request
from the lecturer. Other students highlighted that the process can
lead to students demanding bribes from lecturers in order to pass
and this will lead to an increase in the number of corruption cases.
The ZINASU Secretary
General, Grant Tabvurei who also attended the meeting alluded to
the fact that the structure will have a serious compromise on the
quality of education produced in Polytechnic Colleges as course
works in most cases are plagiarized by students hence not the best
measure for academic work.
Position on the Indigenization
in the strongest terms the recent gazzeting of the Indigenization
Bill as it flies in the face of current initiatives to attract investment.
The bill demands 51% black majority in local business, an idea that
is brilliant and pro poor but only feasible in a sound and well
functioning economy not Zimbabwe which is coming out of a period
of strife and political turmoil. We see this as move by drunken
Zanu PF vampires who want to suck and loot the ailing economy.
of Zimbabwe strongly agree on the need to empower locals considering
that unemployment rate is at a staggering 85%. If history serves
us right, this move by Mugabe is a deliberate political gimmick
considering his recent announcement of the possibility of holding
elections in 2011. This is one of his many tactics of trying to
buy votes from the people. As much as the country needs to empower
the black majority it should not be ignored that it is prudent for
the Government to first address "bread and butter" issues
considering that 80% of Zimbabweans live below the poverty datum
line with the stated population living on less than 1USD per day.
The poverty and strife in Zimbabwe can be equated to a country coming
out of a war zone. It is disastrous for the Government to start
the process of enrichment and wealth distribution when institutions
of higher learning are recording a 39% college dropout rate as a
result of unaffordability of education.
afford the exorbitant tuition fees ranging between USD150-USD850
respectively in most colleges and one of the solutions facing the
education sector can only be solved by the injection of huge external
funds and the introduction of the indigenization bill will only
scarce away potential investors whose assistance will go a long
way in rebuilding Zimbabwe.
It is general
knowledge that this bill will only benefit ZANU Pf big cronies as
happened in the land reform program in the 2000. Very few deserving
ordinary Zimbabweans will benefit from the bill. A leaf can be drawn
from the current youth empowerment fund where youths are supposed
to come up with proposals and get loans from the Government but
there are reports of the funds being distributed on partisan basis
with ZANU Pf youths taking a big chunk of the resources.
upon the Government especially the Minister of Youth, Empowerment
and Transformation, Mr. Saviour Kasukuwere to first train the beneficiaries
of the indigenization programme with the necessary technical expertise
in order to avoid the same blunders that occurred in the haphazard
land reform exercise. We urge the Minister to shelve the bill and
allow for greater consultation. There is a high risk that government
elites will stampede in looting companies and industries and destroy
the little gains that have been made in the inclusive government.
first anniversary of Amai Tsvangirai's death
March 2010 marks the first anniversary of the death of Amai Susan
Tsvangirai. She died in a tragic car accident under unclear circumstances,
which are yet to be investigated. She was on her way to Masvingo
for a rally with her husband Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The
students Union joins the nation in celebrating her life during which
she was a pillar of strength to her husband in the struggle for
democracy in Zimbabwe. Mai Tsvangirai was the mother of the democratization
struggle. The ZINASU President Joshua Chinyere will deliver a speech
at the memorial service to be held tomorrow at Glamis Stadium. The
Union calls to the Ministry of Home Affairs to investigate the death
of Amai Tsvangirai and the recent threat to the Prime Minister's
life by "unknown assailants".
May her soul
rest in eternal peace
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