(Last Updated on May 5, 2022 by zimdaily)
Aritcle by: Bruce “Zonke” Moyo
The gallant sons and daughters of the soil dropped out of school and joined the liberation struggle to exonerate the country from the colonial rule.They fought for freedom ,justice and equality. What we are witnessing today is a contradistinction-a clear betrayal of the gains of the liberation struggle.The government has betrayed and negated their sacrosanct mandate to ensure that Academic freedoms and students rights are upheld in Zimbabwe. Section 75 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe clearly mandates the government to ensure that every citizen; poor or rich,black or white ,partly abled or not ,female or male accesses affordable and quality education .Regrettably, we have been witnessing the privatization of education where only the elite and those who afford to pay fees can only access education.
The Government continues to impose exorbitant fees to a society which is facing economic crack down due to illicit financial flows,corruption and poor policy framework .
69 million that was allocated for curriculum development in 2019 by the finance minister ,the ministry of higher and tertiary education failed to account for the funds.
In 2020, the Minister of Finance gave the ministry money to purchase 2341 laptops for lecturers from polytechnics and teachers. Again the ministry failed to account for that .
Institutions have dilapidated infrastructure,no maintainance and development .We have
inadequate lecturers,zero lab equipment and no workshops. This is despite students paying exorbitant amenities and fees .The majority of students are dropping out of school due to failure to pay fees.
The right to quality education has been challenged and changed.
I therefore recommend that the government of Zimbabwe through its legislative processes ensure that ,
1.Every bonafide student who has paid full fees or yet to pay ,must access education,be allowed to register and have a chance to write examinations
2.There must be a consolidated education act that outlaws all anomalies in our education system and protect academic freedoms
3.our country has the highest rate of Tax that is paid by the overburdened citizens,2% tax that was introduced by the finance minister must be channeled to fund education.(Tax to educate)
4.At least 15% of Foreign Direct Imvestment on minerals must be channeled to fund education
5.Government must engage mobile network operators (Econet ,netone) and negotiate prices of wifi and data for the purposes of e-learning
6.students must be granted loans
7.Universities and colleges to have Payment plans initiatives for students who cannot pay full fees.
8.Institutions must have projects that generate income and that are sustainable. These projects must encourage NDS1 and education 5.0
9.The procurement act must be revised so as to improve and suffice issues of transparency and accountability because according to the college budget allocation ,much of the funds are directed to procurement and yet there is no traceable progress that is done except the foot prints of corruption
10-restoration of students grants initiative.
23 December 2018 ,President E D Mnangagwa promised free education .2022 fees has increased by more than 260%.However on the 9th of May 2022,The Zimbabwe National Students Union will lead a mass democratic campaign(shutdown)that seeks to address the challenges in our education system and quest for the Minister of Higher and Tertiary education to respond to the demands of the student fraternity.