Wednesday 19 June 2019


Students have called on Government to capacitate universities with adequate resources so that they can access quality education.

They also called for subsidised transport to enable non-resident students to attend lectures.

Other challenges highlighted included sub-standard infrastructure, quality of education, lack of on-campus accommodation, poor sporting facilities, quality of food, internet services and fees increment.

This came out on Monday when Zimbabwe Congress of Students’ Unions (Zicosu) and Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) representatives appeared before the Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Parliamentary Portfolio Committee. 

Zicosu national secretary for education Mr Daison Nyatsanga said most students in local universities were living in unfavourable conditions due to a shortage of on-campus accommodation and there was need to build more lecture halls.

“Universities and polytechnic colleges are enrolling students whom they can’t offer accommodation on campus,” he said. “Most of the students end up getting accommodation in the suburbs where there are high risks of theft and prostitution, among others.

“Most of the institutions are operating above their students holding capacity. Students doing a certain programme, for example law, cannot fit in a single lecture room. To solve this, universities should engage on building new lecture rooms and extending existing ones.”

Mr Nyatsanga said in some cases lectures being delivered by lecturers were out of touch with the practicality of the industrial dynamics.
“They are not getting deep into the gist of the economic problems of the country thereby making our tertiary education irrelevant,” he said. “What our students are learning is not reckoning with what the industry demands. Lecturers are not playing their part, some are just giving only the course outline to students and telling them to research on their own and without even guiding them on explaining a lot more about the information to be gathered through research.

“The other predominant issue here is the issue of projects that students do. The majority are just but done for shelves. Tertiary institutions are not implementing students’ project ideas and solutions to our bedevilling problems.”

Zinasu president Mr Archibold Madida said universities should license all boarding houses and ensure that they are suitable for off-campus accommodation.

“There should be a platform where property owners and universities meet and discuss the welfare of students,” he said. “Universities should make sure that the places being rented out to students are conducive.

“Off-campus wardens should negotiate on behalf of the students with landlords so that they charge fair and reasonable rentals and not take advantage of the students.

“It is the mandate of the university to make sure that all students, even those off-campus, are well taken care of. Some of the places where students rent are very dirty and you find a small room meant to accommodate one person is being rented out to three or four students.” 

Mr Madida said institutions should cater for students with disabilities and provide them with the necessary infrastructure and services. Herald


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