Govt reinstates student grants

HARARE - Government will next year reinstate students’ grants which were suspended nearly a decade ago, Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo said.

This comes as the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) early this year claimed that over 12 000 students dropped out of tertiary institutions in the first quarter alone due to financial challenges.

Moyo said government, in conjunction with monetary authorities, was crafting a loan scheme to finance the exercise.

“The ministry has engaged RBZ (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) to structure a student loan scheme for higher and tertiary education institutions to be run by financial institutions with proven micro financing capacity,” Moyo said.

“This scheme will be launched in the coming year to help parents and guardians who are struggling to pay higher and tertiary education fees for their children,” he told the just-ended Zanu PF annual conference last weekend.

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Government would also introduce an infrastructure bond for the tertiary institutions, Moyo said, with the scheme finalised last week by the State Procurement Board. 

In a critique of Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s national budget statement, Zinasu spokesperson, Zivai Mhetu, said the 2017 budget fell short of proposing a viable solution to the biggest challenge students are grappling with; lack of money to pay fees.

Mhetu said there was urgent need for the government to either re-introduce the grants and loans scheme, which the government abandoned in 2006, or revive the cadetship scheme which is now dysfunctional.

The grants and loans scheme paid full fees for students and gave them allowances to cater for other education-related expenses such as accommodation and food.

The cadetship scheme paid three quarters of students’ fees.

Comments (1)

can the newspaper do a follow up on the grants issue . 2017 is almost up and nothing has been said by the minister pertaining the issue. we need answers

Mafu - 7 July 2017

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