WE WILL SHUT DOWN UNIVERSITIES newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

WE WILL SHUT DOWN UNIVERSITIES newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

The Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) yesterday threatened to close universities and colleges within seven days if the Ministry of Tertiary and Tertiary Education rejected its request for dialogue on the range of challenges.

The union protested what it called “out of reach” tuition fees and requested to meet with the ministry to prevent more dropouts.

Addressing the students on Monday at the ministry’s offices, Zinaso President Emmanuel Setema said the students were frustrated by the authorities’ refusal to dialogue.

“If they fail to respond within this time frame, Zinaso will have no other choice but to close its tertiary institutions,” Setema said.

“We also held a multi-stakeholder meeting on February 27, which was attended by all stakeholders including the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, but the department decided not to attend.”

Students want to be heard and their contributions taken into account when shaping policies that directly affect them, Setema said.

He added, “We have several requests from the minister to hold a meeting so that we can express our opinions as a student union because we believe that he (Minister Amon Marwira) does not have a monopoly on ideas and solutions to the problems we face.” “They encounter as students,” he said.

“We are the sons and daughters of peasants and civil servants who live anywhere below the poverty line.”

A survey conducted by the union showed that a number of students had to postpone studies, drop out, and engage in crime, prostitution and other illegal activities to finance their continued stay in higher education institutions.

In March, Mrwira angered students when he told them that there was no free education and that learners must participate in fee-for-work programmes.

According to Article 75 of the Constitution, it is the duty of the government to ensure that education is free and available to all learners of school age. Newsday

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