Friday, 15 February 2019


STUDENTS at Hillside Teachers’ College in Bulawayo on Thursday staged a peaceful demonstration protesting against the hiking of the boarding fees from $175 to $475.

Authorities, who allegedly wanted the students to make a commitment to pay the money by yesterday or vacate the premises, had to call anti-riot police to ensure the students demonstration does not get out of hand.

When a Chronicle news crew visited the college, students were singing and chanting slogans near the college’s administration block as lectures had been suspended. The college’s acting principal Mrs Linda Sibindi said she could only respond to written questions.

She, however, did not respond to emailed questions. Students who spoke to The Chronicle on condition of anonymity said college officials were insensitive to their plight by increasing the fees on short notice.

“The authorities have increased the boarding fees by $300 to $475 a term. We have been asked to top up the $175 we paid at the beginning of the term and we’ve been given three days to decide whether or not we want to continue staying in the hostels,” said one of the students.

The student said the college authorities wanted to hide behind the fact that the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development approved the fees hike. She argued that before making the application to the Ministry, students should have been consulted.

Another student said the boarding fee hike will further burden parents and guardians who are supporting them.
“The fees increment comes at a time when salaries for most of our guardians have remained low.

“This is not fair on us. Where do students from outside Bulawayo go in the event they cannot afford the new fees?” asked the student. Chronicle


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