Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
STATE universities and other institutions of higher learning will soon slash fees for students on industrial attachment, the Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Dr Godfrey Gandawa has said.
The Deputy Minister said the Ministry was in the process of coming up with the right amount to be paid by students on attachment.
Dr Gandawa was responding to questions in Parliament on Wednesday on Government’s policy regarding the payment of tuition fees by students on attachment.
Students at state universities and polytechnics pay full fees while others are paying more when they are on industrial attachment.
Dr Gandawa said the fees must go down.
“The matter was brought to our attention when we had consultations with the students and we have engaged our institutions of higher learning to ascertain the actual cost of assessing the students when they are on attachment.
“They are assessed twice during the year on which they are on attachment. I can assure the House that we are attending to that matter and the right cost will be charged, not the full fees that we are charging now,” said Deputy Minister Gandawa.
Earlier, Mutasa South MP Cde Irene Zindi told the Deputy Minister that it was not fair for parents to pay full fees for students who are not attending lectures.
“Parents are forking out full fees for students who are on attachment for a full semester or a full year. Government must seriously consider slashing the fees to at least half because lecturers would not be actually teaching these students. Even if there are visits by lecturers to assess and monitor the work of the students on attachment, it does not justify payment of full tuition fees,” said Cde Zindi.
Last month, the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) petitioned the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Professor Jonathan Moyo demanding the scrapping of fees for all students on attachment.
The union argued that when students go on attachment they would be off campus and as such will not be using university or college materials, equipment and other facilities.
University fees range from $500 to $1 000 per semester depending on the programme.
This excludes accommodation costs of at least $450 per semester.