Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government owes tertiary institutions $62 million in fees for students under the cadetship programme, Deputy Minister for Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Dr Godfrey Gandawa has said. Dr Gandawa told the National Assembly last week that they were engaging Treasury in an effort to clear the debt that has compromised the smooth running of the institutions.
“We have challenges in the payment of the cadetship fees and to date, our institutions of higher learning are owed $62 million by Government across all institutions,” he said. “As Government, we have engaged our counterparts in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development because it is the Treasury’s duty.
“It is not the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development that must pay the institution, but it is Treasury that is supposed to pay the institutions.”
Dr Gandawa said Treasury had resolved to pay the institutions $30 000 each per month, to go towards payment of the debt.
“We sympathise with our institutions because they really need that money to make sure that the institutions are running,” he said. “We have engaged Treasury. They are now paying $30 000 every month to the institutions spread across so that at least they cushion the institutions until the whole debt is cleared.
“We know the amount that is being paid per month is not as much as we would like, but as Government, we appreciate the problems that we have, and we assure the intervention that has been made will mitigate against the challenges that the institutions are facing.”
The cadetship programme was introduced following the scrapping of Government’s grant and loan scheme.
The programme targeted students that could not afford to pay tuition fees, but failure by Government to pay the fees has resulted institutions refusing to register students that do not pay cash upfront.
Article Source: The Herald