Hard times hit tertiary institutions

HARARE - Tertiary institutions in the country are facing hard times as they cannot charge top ups on fees, making it difficult to afford learning basics as prices of basically everything has gone up, an educationist has said.

Vice principal of Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic in Gwanda, Concilia Muswela pleaded with President Emmerson Mnangagwa who was the guest at a public sector audit conference held at Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) on Thursday.

“As one of the institutions in higher and tertiary education, we are facing great challenges and we are requesting the president, through our ministries to help us. We are in charge of education and our fees and levies that students pay are fixed thus we cannot ask for top ups just like that.

“May we kindly have an address towards this otherwise next year it’s going to be very difficult for us to manage operations,” said Muswela.

She said other tertiary institutions are affected as well, adding that the institution is failing to source out services and good from suppliers because goods have gone up four times as much.

“We submitted budgets anticipating expenditure based on the fees and levies but right now we are failing to even deliver to students,” she said.

Responding to Muswela’s plea, Mnangagwa said he will support tertiary institutions through the growth of domestic resources and their exploitation.

“We see the growth projection in our economy, in-fact from last year, our growth was around 2,7 percent, now we are at 4,8 percent and we expect it to increase to about six percent in the near future. So that will make it possible for us to deal with areas of concern like tertiary institutions,” he said.

He said there are other Tertiary institutions with similar provisions as Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic.

“You are not the only ones, but for us to develop and go forward, we need institutions which bring skills to various areas of our economy. We need to produce artisans and scientists among our people so that they contribute in infrastructure development, agriculture, value addition and mining,” he said

He said tertiary institutions should be focused on making sure that the country has a generation of young people who are focused for the country to move forward.

The president added that tertiary institutions are constrained to provide service because of the economy and the state of isolation the country was going through before his dispensation adding that concerns had already been raised about the institution requiring assistance.

Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic formerly known as Gwanda Zintec College was renamed in honour of the late vice President of Zimbabwe.

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