Minister Demands $30b From Government For Student Fees

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By Anna Chibamu

HIGHER Education Minister Amon Murwira has told Parliament that his ministry needs at least $30 billion from Treasury to provide quality tertiary education.

The money, according to the minister, is also meant for students to avoid paying fees in State institutions.

Murwira was responding to questions by MPs in the House of Assembly Wednesday.

He told legislators to stop politicking and instead play a part in solving the economic challenges being faced by the country.

“We have increased fees to $3 500 (per semester) for those in Arts and Commercial studies; for sciences and engineering, fees have been increased up to $4 000 (per semester) and for those in other sciences and medicine, it’s $5 000 (per semester),” he said.

Earlier, MPs from across the political divide, had taken turns to blast Murwira for unilaterally increasing fees in tertiary institutions without any justification.

“Just give me $30 billion and then I will be able to do what you want. If we need to develop this country, we need to support the ministry. The fees that we are charging are much less.

“The new fees structure and level has been determined by the coming in of our own currency, the Zimbabwe dollar. We cannot politic with higher education,” Murwira told MPs.

According to Murwira, Parliament voted for a $6 million fund for higher and tertiary institutions.

However, he said for his ministry to be fully functional and meet the students demands, it needed $30 billion.

Early this year, State institutions had proposed fee hikes of up to $12 000 per semester, up from last semester’s $1 700.

However, the figures were shot down by Murwira before Treasury released at least $6 million to each State university to subsidise tuition fees as well as the institutions’ daily operations.