Sunday, 8 October 2017


MORGENSTER Teachers College in Masvingo has made history by becoming the first institution of higher learning to dismiss trainee teachers for owing fees with reports that some students were sent home for owing as little as $4.

The Masvingo-based college opened on 25 September for the third and final term of the year and last week sent home more than half of the students for owing fees. Sunday News also learnt that one of the students died in a car accident on her way to Mutare after she was turned away from college over fees arrears.

Some of the affected students who spoke to Sunday News on condition of anonymity said authorities at the college were in an uncompromising mood barring students who owed from getting access into the college premises. The students said authorities at the institution flatly refused to negotiate payment plans with students, some of whom had paid more than three quarters of the fees. Most of the students who had made part payments of their fees said they were hoping to pay the outstanding balance at the end of October but the institution refused.

“What happened is one had to be cleared first before admission. So those who were in arrears were sent home immediately regardless of how little you owe. I owe about $70 and I tried to negotiate but was told to pay the money in full for me to attend lectures and be allocated a room in the hall of residence. Someone was even sent home for owing $4,” said one of the students.

Most of the affected students said they would only be able to clear their arrears by the end of October.

“By then (October) we will be just a month away from examinations. All this while we are at home we are missing out on lectures and catching up will be difficult,” said another student.

Efforts to get a comment from the college principal Mrs Raviro Chipato were fruitless as she could not be reached. The college accountant, Mr Tauya Godzamutsipa, declined to comment.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister Dr Godfrey Gandawa said the ministry was yet to receive any reports on the developments at college.Dr Gandawa, however, said tertiary institutions should give students seven days after opening to settle their fees arrears. sunday news


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