Life gets tough for tertiary level students; union says loan facility inaccessible due to nearly impossible conditions

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By Staff Reporter

LIFE for tertiary level students is becoming increasingly difficult due to economic hardships, an official has said.

Addressing students at Kwekwe Polytechnic, president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (Zicosu)  Pijiwest Nhamburo said the government must intervene in the plight of students.

“We would like to acknowledge the efforts being made by the government to improve conditions in tertiary level institutions,” he said.

“We would like to applaud the government for creating innovation hubs amongst other initiatives. We are happy we have a government with a vision, we have a government that is people based, a mass based government.”

He, however, said despite government efforts to improve livelihoods for tertiary level students life was getting tougher.

“Government introduced a noble initiative in the student loan facility. However, since its inception, only a few people have benefited and conditions are difficult to meet, that’s why most students are struggling to pay their tuition,” he said.

He also encouraged government to extend the scholarship programme to students learning in local universities and colleges, not only those going to learn outside the country.

Nhamburo added that students are also having challenges in securing attachments.

“Our students are having challenges in securing attachments. Instead of the usual 12 or 8 months, students are going for a lesser period because they would have secured the attachments late. This then puts pressure on the students and we are urging the government to look into the issue and assist the students,” he said.

Nhamburo has also called for a review of the allowances being given to student teachers.

“The money which they are getting is so little that it is difficult for them to make ends meet. They can’t even buy learning material with the money they are getting. There is a need for the government to look into the issue,” he said.