Source: Tertiary boarding fees go up | The Sunday News February 17, 2019
Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
THE Government has approved the increase in tertiary education catering fees for all State colleges to allow the institutions to provide decent meals and accommodation facilities to students in the wake of the increase in the prices of most basic commodities.
Catering fees are payments by students that reside in the halls of residences at the colleges. The fees cater for accommodation and meals for the students. In a memo signed by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Professor Fanuel Tagwira, the ministry said the fees have been increased to $450 per term. Most colleges were charging between $175 and $200.
“Treasury authority has been granted for teachers’ colleges and other tertiary institutions to charge catering fees amounting to $450 per term with effect from 1 January 2019,” Prof Tagwira said in the memo seen by Sunday News.
He emphasised, however, that all other fees remain unchanged. The approval follows requests from tertiary institutions that had complained that fees be reviewed upwards in line with the prevailing economic developments.
Prices of basic goods and commodities have in recent weeks increased forcing even primary and secondary schools to also request to increase school fees and demand top-ups in order to sustain themselves. The schools have also been asked to seek approval from their parent ministry to increase the fees.
However, students at Hillside Teachers’ College in Bulawayo on Thursday staged a demonstration over the increase. The students said they were protesting a $300 boarding fees top-up from $175 that they were initially paying. The students alleged that the college had demanded that they pay the fees as soon as possible or risk being ejected from the institution’s hostels.
Students at the School of Hospitality and Tourism in Bulawayo have been paying $190 catering fees each term and will now have to fork out $450. Some students who spoke to Sunday News said the fees were out of reach as they had been struggling to pay before the increase.