Students blasts ‘exclusionary’ loans

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Chitungwiza-  Students at Seke teacher’s college in Chitungwiza protested against the decision by the college authorities to pay their outstanding fees arrears in 14 days and called for a viable and practical payment plan for outstanding tuition fees for student returning from teaching practice (TP).

The protesting students blasted the Higher and Tertiary Education student loan facility scheme saying it was exclusionary as students who have no pay-cheque/pay slips will not be able to access the loans.

Speaking to Chitownews during the demonstration, an official from the Seke Teacher’s College Students’ Representative Council (SRC) who refused to be named for fear of persecution blasted the loan facility being provided by local financial institutions saying it was only benefiting students whose parents, relatives or friends could prove source of income through a payslip.

“What we the students want are loans that are accessible to all, not these loan schemes whose loans are only accessible to the formally employed. It is an irony given that we have an at least 90% unemployment rate in Zimbabwe,” he said.

“The loans that have been offered by the ministry are not accessible to the majority of suffering students as they are oriented at profit-making,” he added.

He said the college authorities must enter into payment plans with affected students and must allow students to access their results without a hindrance

“While we acknowledge that we owe Seke teachers college outstanding fees we feel it is of paramount importance that we negotiate for a pragmatic and viable payment plan according to one’s financial capacity,” reads part of the statement from the protesters.

“Cognisant of the hard hitting liquidity crunch currently obtaining in the country, we have come to the understanding for the understanding that not all the students have capability to pay in the fortnight period ultimatum that you imposed on us’”

“It must be remembered that during your tours on TP you made it succinctly, unequivocally and categorically clear that students will pay in instalments until the final residential phase”, reads the statement from the protesters.

Currently the loan facility secured by the ministry is being disbursed through five financial institutions namely: POSB, Get Bucks, CBZ Bank, NMB Bank and Edu-loan.

Efforts to get a comment from the principal were fruitless.

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