THE Higher and Tertiary Education ministry has ordered all State universities and colleges not to block students, who would not have paid tuition fees, from writing examinations, but urged the learners to come up with payment plans in future to avoid being turned away.
BY SILAS NKALA
In a statement at the weekend, Higher and Tertiary Education permanent secretary, Machivenyika Mapuranga directed all State universities and colleges to allow students to write examinations unhindered, but withhold their results if fees remained unpaid.
“The ministry is directing all institutions to allow students to write their examinations, but withhold results until all outstanding fees are paid,” he said in the statement.
This came amid reports that several State universities and colleges had sent away students over non-payment of fees.
In spite of the reprieve to the defaulting students, Mapuranga reminded them that they ought to pay fees on time or come up with payment plans, lest they be kicked out of examination rooms.
“The ministry wishes to state that at State universities, students are expected to pay tuition fees at registration or before writing end of semester examinations,” he said.
“However, between registration and the writing of examinations, parents or guardians can make mutually agreed payment plans, which they must honour to avoid inconveniences and ensure that they will get their diplomas and degrees.”
At polytechnics and teachers’ colleges, Mapuranga outlined a slightly different scenario, where fees were due on the opening day or at least seven days after.
“In State polytechnics and teachers’ colleges, payment of fees is governed by Statutory Instrument 81 of 1999, which stipulates that payment of such fees should be made before opening of each term or within seven days after opening,” he said.
“Government has since instructed that students are not turned away from colleges and polytechnics for late payment of tuition fees.
“Where necessary, at the discretion of the institution, the owing students’ guardian and the institution can enter into mutually agreed payment plans.
“The students, parents or guardians are urged to honour their payment plans to avoid inconveniences.”