By Sydney Gokomere
Gweru, October 12, 2016 – SCORES of students at Mkoba Teachers’ College who have fees arrears were on Monday barred from writing examinations as the institution insisted on full payment of fees.
The students who spoke on condition of anonymity said the college authorities called a hasty meeting on Sunday advising them that those with outstanding fees would not sit for exams.
A final year student (name supplied) said he owed the college $1 200 and was barred from writing exams.
“When I approached the exam venue yesterday, the security guard at the entrance said I could not enter before he confiscated my college identification card,” said the student.
“I tried to engage the authorities after I had come with a guarantor who pledged to pay the outstanding fees and that I be allowed to sit for exams but they (authorities) refused to entertain us.”
Another student who owes the college $2 000 in fees arrears said he was also barred from writing exams saying his future looked bleak as it means repeating another term.
The student said it was disheartening that given the harsh economic climate, authorities refused to entertain payment plans for students.
“I know I should clear my fees arrears but given the economic situation, you would expect that a payment plan would be ideal rather than totally barring students from writing exams,” he said.
Repeated efforts to contact principal, Florence Dube were fruitless.
In 2011, there was a row between close to 200 former students and the college when the latter refused to grant them certificates over non-payment of fees.
At that time, Dube said it was a requirement that students paid fees.
In June this year, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology deputy minister, Godfrey Gandawa told parliamentarians that government policy stipulated that no student should be prohibited from their writing examinations.
“Government policy is that no student should be prohibited from writing examinations. All students must write examinations while they look for fees,” he said then.
But over the years, colleges and universities have been defying government policy turning away students from examinations over non-payment of fees.