By Mike Chakwana
Tertiary education students who attended the national budget consultative meeting in Kwekwe last week called on the government not to segregate but extend grants to them.
The students accused government of not prioritising them as the grants are limited to polytechnic students.
The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education in past years used to give some grants to students from both university and poly technics a situation which changed as the country slid into economic comatose in the early 2000s.
Students at the polytechnic are being given some grants through the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF) which gives them some educational grants of $100 per month during their attachment period. Tafadzwa Mabuto, a Local Governance student at Midlands State University (MSU) told this publication that the government must also put some budgets on the educational grants for university students since all the polytechnics colleges are given some educational grants on their attachment period.
“The ZIMDEF is vested in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development so they must fund all the institutional colleges and universities not to segregate other institutions,” said Maputo.
“Tertiary education has become more expensive to the majority as students as need financial support from the government since polytechnic colleges are given as a way to cushion students,” he said.
Meanwhile, the university students want the government to restore the system of educational grants to be included in the 2019 budget so that all institutions are treated equally.
“The government must note that there are beneficiaries who can’t afford the money that is needed during the attachment period so educational grants are needed,” he said.
Mbizo legislator, Settlement Chikwinya said that the grant issue for university students is under consideration but it will take time to be put into effect.