Infrastructure shortages hit tertiary education

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

LACK of adequate infrastructure has forced hundreds of students at the country’s institutions of higher learning to attend lessons through windows, Parliament heard Monday.

Student leaders from the Zimbabwe Congress of Student Unions (Zicosu) and the Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu), told the Parliamentary Committee on Higher Education, that most institutions are prioritising other things ahead of infrastructure development.

“Students have become peeping toms, attending lessons outside lecture rooms because they cannot fit in one room.

“This is so because the institutions are prioritising other issues ahead of developing infrastructure to accommodate students during and after lessons,” Dyson Nyatsanga, Zicosu secretary for education told the committee.

Nyatsanga added that the state of infrastructure across the country’s universities and colleges has become desperate.

“The buildings are dilapidated. In the 21st century we are learning under the same roof that my father learnt under before independence.

“Most of the universities are operating above their student holding capacity,” said Nyatsanga.

“This is happening at Chinhoyi University of Science and Technology (CUT), because the college does not have enough classroom capacity. There are about 3 000 students at CUT in the Faculty of Business but we have a classroom that accommodates 50 students only.”

Nyatsanga also bemoaned the state of laboratories at most tertiary institutions.

“Most of the laboratories are not equipped with the latest technology and most of the tertiary institutions are not producing students who are competent enough with knowledge.

“Some science students end up coming to one lab in Harare to do their practical which is sad situation,” he said.

“Imagine most colleges do not have even internet, making it difficult for students to do their research. Most of the institutions with internet access have restricted this to administrations where it is used by management to be on social media.”