The Zimbabwe School of Mines is reportedly owed more than $500 000 in unpaid tuition fees by students, a situation that has forced the institution to shelve most of its projects due to lack of funding.
Chief executive officer of the training institute Dzingirai Tusai told delegates at a graduation ceremony last Friday about 80% of the amount was for students who enrolled during the economic crisis of 2008.
“By the end of August 2011, student debt amounted to $0,5 million.
“This volume of student debt caused temporary shelving or moving forward of some own-funded capital project items.”
Although Tusai could not be drawn to disclose how the school hoped to recover the funds, he said the institution had raised $1 535 006 through various fundraising activities.
“Most capital projects were accomplished as the school enrolled above the optimum of 30 students per discipline. The school has an average of 40 students per discipline during the year,” he said.
The mining training institute has introduced courses geared at empowering small-scale and women miners.
Tusai said the institution was in the process of finalising post-graduate specialised courses in mining ventilation, rock mechanics and ground control mining of coal-bed methane gas, adding they had enrolled 69 foreign students.
This year, about 15% of the graduates were foreigners, mostly from Namibia, he said. Females constituted only 8,4 % of graduates.