HARARE – Madziwa Teachers’ College (Madziwa) students are crying foul over their expulsion from the learning institution over tuition.
Dozens of students have been reportedly barred from attending class, including those that had paid half their fees.
Some of the students told the Daily News that they have already been advised by the institution’s principal that they will have to defer their studies, if they fail to pay the full amount being demanded by the college.
Contacted for comment, Madziwa principal — Memory Moyo — referred all questions to the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry in a cold response, before hanging up the phone.
However, Higher and Tertiary Education deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa warned the college authorities from deviating from government policy, which forbids the expulsion of students over school fees shortfalls.
Gandawa said students must be allowed to attend lectures and make payment plans to settle their school fees arrears.
“It is not government policy to chase away students who haven’t paid fees, but we encourage the students or their parents or guardians to have payment plans with colleges so that students are allowed to attend lectures,” he said.
Asked specifically about the circumstances surrounding the Madziwa issue, Gandawa said he was going to make an immediate intervention into the issue to ensure that students do not lose out on their lectures.
The students claim they are suffering because they cannot pay the full amount on time, considering that their monthly allowances were also slashed from $329 to $150.
One of the students, who spoke to the Daily News on condition of anonymity, said all those that have not yet paid their fees were denied access to hostels, lectures and food.
“Students are now desperate and hopeless, as they have been left with only one option, which is that of going home. The only disgusting thing about this whole exercise is that it seems it is only being implemented at our college alone,” the student said.
The crisis is happening at a time most parents and guardians are struggling to raise school fees for their children owing to the country’s economic hardships, which have been worsened by the crippling cash shortages.
Many across the country have dropped out of school due to economic challenges.