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LSU lecturers dump block, parallel classes

Lupane State University (LSU) lecturers have reportedly stopped offering their services to block and parallel classes after failing to agree on new rates with the university management.

The institution’s July block classes commenced on Monday.

In a letter written to the LSU Acting Registrar, Wednesday, the Academic Staff Association Secretary-General Dr Nkululeko Sibanda said lecturers will only take up these classes once the rates have been increased.

Lecturers are paid ZW$550 per module for these classes.

“I write to inform you that the association members have refused to take up block, parallel and extra loaded classes at the current rate offered by the University.

“The Lupane State University Academic Staff Association members will only take up these classes once the rates have been reviewed upwards,” read part of the letter.

In an interview with CITE, Dr Sibanda said the rates they were being paid had been eroded by inflation.

“We are not taking up block classes because the rates that the university is offering have been eroded by inflation and the current economic situation. We have tried to engage the university management and got no positive feedback,” said Dr Sibanda.

The institution had previously threatened to hire external lecturers to take up these classes if the university lecturers did not review their position.

“You are therefore requested to engage the said lecturers to consider immediately taking up their lectures.

“Should you not be willing to cooperate, we are therefore directed to engage the services of external part-time lecturers, with immediate effect, since we have students on the ground,” said Dr CS Makoni, the Acting registrar.

Makoni highlighted that since part-time claims were fully funded by tuition fees, any review was not possible without a review of tuition fees.

The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development reportedly turned down the University’s application to increase tuition fees.

LSU was proposing a 20 percent fee increase for parallel and block programmes.

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