The Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic students are currently in a state of perplexity and uncertainty over what to do in a difficult situation they are faced with. Having returned from a long absence from college due to the COVID-19 precautionary measures, the Polytechnic College students where welcomed to college by a new set of rules. The school administration has set a strict condition which requires students to pay their tuition in full before attending any lectures. The Polytechnic College has barred students with outstanding fees access into the college premises giving entry preference only to fully paid up students. Notices of clearance of outstanding fee payments have also been put up warning those writing examinations to clear their arrears, cautioning them that failure to comply would result in failure in seating to write for the 2021 exams.
To strictly monitor the entry and restricting of students, the Polytechnic College administration has assigned a member of staff to help in the clearance of students at the college’s main gate. Students in areas were immediately turned away and those who had fully paid up were cleared and allowed entrance. Many students had traveled from their homes unaware and unprepared for the new development. Unfortunately they were turned back, advised to go and raise the required tuition.
This has come at a time when students are faced with high accommodation rentals in the mining town of Gwanda, where the cheapest room with water and electricity services is stands at R500 per month. This has left many students caught in between the dilemma of paying tuition and risk spending the nights outside.
Most students are returning home to seek funds to cover their educational expenses. A comment from one student was that ‘I have since called my parents back home, at least try and sell a cow quickly for me to be able to finish the course and not miss out much from the learning process’.
The college officials were not available for any comments.