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Angry Students Lock Out Lecturers

First year students at Hillside Teachers’ College in Bulawayo yesterday locked their lecturers out of their offices and shut the college’s ...

First year students at Hillside Teachers’ College in Bulawayo yesterday locked their lecturers out of their offices and shut the college’s clinic in protest over poor health care offered by the institution’s medical aid service provider.

The students also threatened to boycott writing acquittal examinations which started on Monday.

A source at the teacher training college said the students barricaded the lecturers’ offices demanding that their concerns be addressed.

By Nqobile TshiliThe students alleged the college was forcing them to subscribe to Corporate24 Medical Aid Society, which they said was failing to pay for students’ treatment when they fell ill.

“The first year students are not happy with their medical aid provider as they claim that it delays offering payment. They were calling for the institution to shift them from Corporate24 Medical Aid Society where they each pay $10 a term for medical services,” said the source.

Angry Students Lock Out Lecturers
He said normalcy only returned to the institution after Hillside Teachers’ College principal Mr Edward Gumpo addressed the students.

Mr Gumpo was not available for comment with his deputy identified as Mrs Sibindi requesting that questions be put in writing.

“The principal is not in office at the moment but you can put your questions in writing,” said Mrs Sibindi.

The source said Mr Gumpo addressed the college’s staff during break time thanking them for working as a unit in ensuring that the situation did not get out of hand.

“The examination was delayed and the students who had boycotted were later allowed to sit their examination. This was after the principal had addressed their concerns,” said the source.

The students had circulated social media messages encouraging each other to boycott the examination until their concerns are addressed.

“No acquittal lectures till our grievances are heard. Spread the word. Do not enter the exam/lecture room until we are told what is happening to our medical fee ($10).

“How can you get medication after a week? How do you survive between prescription and delivery day. Why can’t we just stop paying the fee and pay directly from our pockets if they are failing to offer the service,” read the post that the students were circulating among themselves.

Corporate24 Medical Aid Society could not be reached for comment.