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Opinion / Columnist

UZ sabotaging Zimbabwe development agenda

17 May 2021 at 06:48hrs | Views
THE National Development Strategy One is anchored on the need to leverage on the country's human capital and natural resources.

This involved value-addition and exporting processed goods.

Institutions of higher learning, especially universities, are suppose to be at the forefront of research and development.

I know that affordable education is at the centre of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's vision for Zimbabwe.

However, the situation obtaining at the University of Zimbabwe has reached another level. It is nothing short of sabotaging Zimbabwe's development agenda.

The University of Zimbabwe is demanding full payment of fees and those who pay part fees are required to pay a penalty of $100 per day. Has education been privatised, Mr President?

The penalty is punitive to say the least — they have made education a preserve for the elite.

The situation has been worsened by the university's e-learning platform that is always malfunctioning.

As the son of a Gutu peasant farmer, how can I afford to pay full fees and for accommodation given the prevailing economic situation.

We are also required to buy data to access learning material.

As a group of students, we have tried to engage UZ vice-chancellor Paul Mapfumo, but he arrogantly ignored our pleas.

As the chancellor of all State universities, I call upon you, Mr President, to intervene as most students will be forced to drop out of college because education is becoming unaffordable.

The fees issue is one of the many issues that we raised with the university authorities, but they fell on deaf ears.

While Zimbabwe prides itself as having one of the highest literacy rates in Africa, these gains are likely to be reversed if State institutions push agendas that are at odds with government policy.

As a listening President, it is my humble plea that you rein in authorities at the University of Zimbabwe otherwise your efforts to mechanise and modernise Zimbabwe will be in vain.

Vision 2023 demands that everyone — private and public sector — especially universities should put all their hands on deck.


Source - newsday
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