Earlier this week the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, Senator David Coltart, said there will be no increase in fees structures for all Government schools.
“I am aware that parents have been threatened with fee hikes from all angles but a decision has been made. We therefore expect all schools to abide by that decision as we will deal with those who will choose to go against this,” said Coltart.
Students at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo College who reside on the campus have been told to bring their own groceries to augment the low fees they are paying.
Part of a letter addressed to the students reads, “Those who will reside at the campus should bring 20kg Beef, 4kg salt , four rolls of tissue paper, 20kg mealie meal(pearlenta/ngwerengwere), 10 sachets Royco,” among other items.
However health experts fear that the move to order students to bring fresh products such as beef to college could result in some bringing poisoned food.
“Some of the students at the college travel for two days from their respective homes to get to college and there is likelihood that some of the meat could be stale before it reaches its destination a situation likely to cause serious health problems,” said Themba Ncube a senior nurse at Gwanda Hospital.
Although authorities at Joshua Nkomo Polytechnic refused to speak to Radio VOP a lecturer at the college who requested anonymity said the move to order pupils to bring their own food was necessitated by the low fees being charged at the college.
“The tuition fees are just too low for the upkeep of students for three months and hence when they bring their own food it becomes better,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s education system once a shinning beacon in the African continent has over the years plummeted to lowest levels as the country struggles to recover from a decade long economic turmoil.