UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe (UZ) Vice-Chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura yesterday said Zimbabwe has failed to deal with the issue of people living with disability and called on government to come up with a policy to meet the educational needs of the group.
Nyagura was speaking at the 2014 National Disability Expo in Harare where he said people living with disability should go to school for free from grade one until they reached university as a way to empower them.
“Education is the only vehicle that gives people confidence and so the people living with disability should also go to school and be equipped,” he said.
“While noting the numerous policy interventions made by government in advancing the cause for education in the country, I find it necessary to petition govern to seriously consider coming up with a policy specifically designed to cater for and advance the educational needs of students with disability.”
Nyagura said the UZ was already empowering people living with disability by enrolling them at the university for free.
“To promote the university inclusive policy, commencing from January 2003 students with disability are admitted to degree programmes without payment of tuition and accommodation fees,” he said.
“This comprehensive affirmative action approach should not be assumed to be a sympathetic posturing towards any student with disability at the university, instead it is only a means to create conditions to meaningfully empower these students so that they become independent citizens of the country.”
Nyagura challenged other universities and colleges in the country to take the approach taken by UZ.
“My sincere desire is to see more tertiary and higher education institutions adopt the comprehensive affirmative action approach to enable us to beyond 135 students with disability enrolled at the University of Zimbabwe,” he said.