AS many tertiary institutions prepare to close for vacation in June, The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) has called on the private sector to offer temporary jobs to students.
Due to failure to pay fees, a lot of students are dropping out of college which has prompted ZINASU to implore the private sector to give jobs to students during the impending vacation so that they can raise money.
Many institutions including the University of Zimbabwe allowed students to sit for their exams with fees in arrears but students will not be able to access their results and this prevents them from proceeding with their studies as results are a prerequisite for carrying on to another level.
As such, a lot of students do not only need money to pay fees for next semester but also need financial resources to pay outstanding fees from the previous one.
ZINASU spokesperson Zivai Mhetu said that the Union’s plea for availing of vacation jobs was directed to big companies and small scale businesses such as supermarkets, boutiques, internet cafes, hotels, restaurants, fast food outlets as well as civic society organisations, political parties, churches, bars and many others.
“The prevailing economic situation has hit students the hardest,” said Mhetu. “Thousands of students dropped out of tertiary institutions this semester alone and a lot more are most likely going to do so during the next one. The private sector should weigh in and offer temporary vacation jobs to students so that they can raise money for fees.”
Mr Mhetu said he facilitated jobs for students during last vacation and was thus confident that temporary jobs can be availed to students by the private sector.
“Last vacation,” said Mhetu, “I secured jobs for 12 students. A much larger number than that secured jobs on their own hence this time job seeking on vacation should be done nationally because it is very possible for students to get vacation jobs. But this can only happen if those in the private sector understand our plight as students and how our education, which we can only pursue with their assistance, is crucial for national development and the creation of an educated human resources pool which the private sector can benefit from in the future. I know that a very small number of businesses are currently operating in the country due to the ongoing economic malaise but I would like to call upon those few enterprises that are open to sacrifice and assist students.”
Mr Mhetu said if ever those who wish to support students were in doubt of whether a job seeker is a student or not they could simply ask for a school I.D or call the school authorities for verification.
In April ZINASU released information that at least 12 000 students had dropped out of tertiary institutions since the beginning of the year due to a debilitating economic crisis which has resulted in their parents and guardians having little or no income to channel towards their educational pursuits.