By Praisemore Sithole
Students at Njube High School in Bulawayo yesterday staged a demonstration led by A-Level students over a 478% fees hike.
The school administration reportedly increased fees from $92 to $440 this term.
Students, who were carrying the portrait of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the national flag marched on the streets expressing their disgruntlement over the fees hikes and deteriorating education standards at the school.
Authorities at the school had to call riot police who stopped the protest.
The police rounded up the students, mainly the seniors, who participated in the protest before taking them to a classroom where they were questioned over the demonstration.
When Southern Eye crew visited the school, the students were still being questioned by the police.
One of the students said they were protesting in solidarity with other pupils who could not afford the new fees.
“When the fees were $92 some of the students could not afford them and now the fees have been raised to $440. Another issue is that we buy our own books, so we do not understand why the fees have been hiked,” she said.
“However, this ended up being something that was not planned, it was supposed to be peaceful, but it ended up being a rumpus.”
The students, who were rounded up by the police, were asked to write down their names.
“With the police now taking our records and everything, we do not mind giving out details, but taking our records, who knows what is going to happen next. We are actually worried about the next step,” a student
Students said by carrying the portrait of the President they were sending a direct message to him on behalf of all students in Zimbabwe that they were suffering and their future was being washed down the drain.
The learners were also armed with the notes which contained their complaints to the authorities.
“I was in the classroom writing and a teacher came and said let us go for a march and I did not know where we were going, but I joined the march…SOS — save our souls — this is for every Zimbabwean child, Unicef where are you?” read the note.
“Unicef where are you? We have suffered a lot, all we need is help and may you change things.”
Acting district schools inspector Zenzele Myambo said she was not allowed to speak to the Press and referred all questions to the provincial education director Olicah Kaira.
When contacted for comment, Kaira said she was in a meeting before switching off her mobile phone. NewsDay