HARARE – Dozens of students were yesterday forced out of Morgan Zintec Teachers College for non-payment of fees.
This comes in the wake of a government directive which forbids the expulsion of students over school fees arrears.
Efforts to get a comment from the college principal Agnes Dube were fruitless as she failed to return calls to the Daily News as promised.
Some of the students who spoke to the Daily News said the institution’s principal had told them they will have to defer their studies if they fail to pay the full amount being demanded by the college.
The students claim they cannot pay the full amount of $276 a term on time as they were struggling to fend for their families from their monthly allowances which were slashed from $329 to $150.
The pupils said pleas to make payment plans were shot down by the administration who insisted they come with guardians to sign the plan on their behalf.
“I am over 29-years-old, I have a family, but I am being told to come with a guardian, surely how practical is that?” queried a student who requested anonymity fearing reprisals.
“Is it an attempt to force me to hire a pseudo guardian to represent me when I can make the agreement myself?”
Another student said the devastation of being locked out of school had caused other students to fall sick.
“No one desires not to pay full fees but for me, this is my final year and I would not gamble with my education had I had the full fees,” the student said.
Higher and Tertiary Education deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa requested time to look into the issue.
The latest impasse at the teacher training institution that produces primary school level teachers comes as Gandawa warned Madziwa Teachers’ College from deviating from government policy.
Gandawa said that students must be allowed to attend lectures and make payment plans to satisfy their school fees debt.
“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 then.
“We don’t want our students to lose out on their lectures, while we also encourage students and guardians to make efforts to pay the fees as per their payment plan because our colleges also need the resources to continue to offer services to the students.”