Tertiary students urge psycho-social support amid high incidence of college suicide

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By Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE students enrolled in the country’s tertiary institutions have singled out lack of social support as contributing to the high incidence of suicide among learners.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (ZICOSU) president Pigiwest Nhamburo told fellow students at a Kwekwe Polytechnic event recently that the hardships being experienced by students were aggravated by lack of psycho-social support to cope with the vagaries of life.

Nhamburo said students were being confronted by a plethora of challenges which include high tuition fees, lack of accommodation and general support to withstand the high demands of college life.

“Suicide cases are now very prevalent amongst students in tertiary institutions because there is a lack of social support,” said Nhamburo.

He called on government involvement in terms of offering psycho-social support.

“There is need for psycho-social support and we are calling on government to assist students.”

Nhamburo singled out female students he said were faced with a double challenge as they were often forced to engage in sexual activities either to obtain marks from unscrupulous lecturers or within organisations they would have gone for attachment.

“Female students are being sexually abused within corporate institutions during the times when they are seeking for places of attachment.

“These are the future of our country, but females are really being severely abused.

“We are also calling for lecturers in the institutions not to abuse female students sexually. Female students are being sexually abused for marks.

“We are calling on higher authorities to look into the protection of female students. They must be given their certificates on merit since degrees are not sexually transmitted,” he said.

The student leader also called on government to look into accommodation challenges being faced by college students.

“Students are facing serious accommodation challenges and we are calling on government to urgently look into the issue.

“We are aware that government, through the Infrastructure Development Bank (IDBZ), rolled out a programme to improve accommodation infrastructure in institutions of higher learning.

“We are however calling for the process to be expedited,” he said.

Nhamburo also called on authorities to ensure ZimDef funds were disbursed and used to ease the financial hardships faced by the generality of students.