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New Tertiary Education Fees Justified: Prof Murwira

Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Professor Amon Murwira yesterday defended government move to hike tertiary education fees saying the new figures are meant to uphold standards and quality of education.

Government gazetted new university and college fees at between ZWL$3500 to ZWL$5000, a move that has irked both students and parents who argued that the amounts do not resonate with salaries for most workers in the country.

Legislators yesterday took Murwira to task over the high tertiary education fees.

Buhera South legislator, Joseph Chinotimba said workers were earning far less than the fees and asked how they were expected to afford.

“This is not making sense because what those same people who have children attending universities are earning peanuts,it is not fair at all,” he said.

Others said Government had recently gazetted wages for domestic worked pegged at less than $200 and the fees would mean that they would not be able to send their children to tertiary institutions.

However, Prof Murwira defended the fees hike of between $3 500 and $5 000 per semester, saying they were meant to uphold quality education that Zimbabwe is well known for.

“We determined the level of fees based on people’s income, and we followed procedures. We are saying we have to access quality education. Our last ordinance of 2019 was in United States dollars. This is the first time that we are putting ordinances in Zimbabwean dollar. We are talking of levels of fees and not increases. We just determined the fundamentals of quality education,” said Prof Murwira.

“We cannot have a class without chemicals and equipment. That can only be a populist policy to destroy the education system. The state of the economy of the country is determined by the state of its higher education.

“We cannot politic with higher and tertiary education. If we politic with it, we are politicking with our future,” said Murwira.

He also said Government had introduced student loans to cater for those who could not afford the fees.

 

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