STUDENTS attending the Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU) in Bindura have been left fuming after the college informed them to pay in full fees, for the first semester of 2020 after attending class for only two weeks.
The university was forced to close last week as part of national measures to curb the spread of the novel COVID-19 outbreak.
In a notice to students, the university’s registrar only identified S.M Chevo told the learners that they had to pay the fees for the first semester in full by 7 April or they risk being considered to have deferred their studies.
“Following the earlier communication that 60% fees be paid upon registration and the balance be cleared by 31 March 2020, you are hereby informed that the outstanding fees should be cleared by 7 April,” he wrote in the notice.
“Unregistered students must complete the registration exercise online by 7 April 2020. Those who fail to pay their outstanding fees and register by 7 April 2020 would be considered as having deferred their studies.”
However, students and parents are unhappy with this new arrangement as the university only opened for two weeks and during that period, no lessons took place.
“I write to register my disgruntlement with institutions like Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU) that are of religious origin but have no feeling for humanity.
“Everyone in the world is currently preoccupied with the COVID -19 epidemic, meaning that every part of our lives is disrupted. But these people because they put money ahead of everything else, choose to turn a deaf ear to the plight of parents, who are already burdened,” one affected parent told Zimbabwe Voice.
“Our children went to school only two weeks and according to them, they did not have any lectures for the two weeks. We were made to pay 60% of the fees for our children to register and we did. The remainder 40% was supposed to be paid by 31 March, or it will attract an interest of 25%.
“The students were sent home on 24 March, but the college still expected parents to meet the 31 March deadline for fees payments, and they sent a letter to that effect. And true to their word, they effected the 25% interest on fees balances.”
The concerned parent said parents were forced to meet unexpected costs of transporting children from schools and buy necessities for the 21 days lockdown which was unbudgeted for.
“For the majority of parents, our means of livelihood was disrupted, and would be disrupted for an unknown time.
“The fees included costs for electricity, water, Wi-Fi, tuition. What will happen to that money, now that the students will not be using those services?
“On top of that they are saying learners will have to do this semester online. They haven’t been introduced to the modules yet. They are expected to interpret the course outline on their own and teach themselves at home.
“Yet the reason why we made them go for conventional studies is because we knew as parents that they are not capable of doing so. They need tutoring,” the disgruntled parent said in an interview with the Zimbabwe Voice. – Zimbabwe Voice
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