Students at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) are requesting their lecturers, who are on strike to come back to class and resume lectures.
The students say they are suffering, having lost valuable class time, as the lecturers forge ahead with their industrial action.
NUST lecturers downed their tools at the start of this week citing incapacitation as they could no longer keep up with the unstable economic crisis.
Among other grievances, the lectures said they can hardly afford transport to work, rental, basic commodities and school fees for their own children.
But in an interview with CITE, president of One NUST Movement, Farai Nyamande, said the strike was intolerable as students were losing out yet they had paid tuition fees.
“The lecturers strike comes at the worst time ever as students are also facing economic challenges. Students had difficulties in raising their tuition fees and now there is no class.
What is happening is painful, especially for students who struggled to raise tuition fees for parallel classes and those who have to transport themselves to NUST only to find no service offered,” Nyamande said while surrounded by his One NUST Movement team.
The student activist noted those learning under parallel classes, which are mostly conducted in the evening, were the most affected by the lecturers’ strike.
“Parallel students pay slightly more than conventional students coupled with transport costs and inconveniences associated with learning at night,” he said.
Nyamande argued that students also coming from other provinces to Bulawayo were short changed by the current state of affairs.
“As far as we are concerned, we also have international students as well. They came here to learn and not spent the whole day eating food without attending lecturers, we need education” stressed the student activist.
“We understand the economy is harsh. It is affecting everyone, including our parents who also struggle to make ends meet. But we cannot be at a standstill even if lecturers need salary increments. Which is why as students we are asking them to meet us at a certain point, perhaps we can try raise funds such as a hardship allowance to cushion them,” he claimed
Meanwhile lecturers said they are on a partial strike, not having to teach the parallel classes.
“Secretary General of National University of Science and Technology Educators Association (Nusteda) gave notice to government intending to strike. That notice has gone for arbitration. But particularly at NUST, the lecturers have downed tools for parallel classes.
“ The reason is we want to be paid monthly for parallel classes not once in an one-off payment that is after end of semester,” said one of the lecturers who requested anonymity.