Ministry forces students to take political course

Itai Dzamara

IN what is seen as a bid by government to advance its political agenda, the Ministry of Higher Education has introduced “National and Strategic Studies” as a subject in institutions of higher le

arning.



The ministry has ordered polytechnics, teachers’ colleges and universities to make the subject compulsory.



It appears to have been adapted from the controversial National Youth Training Service programme.


Students who fail to pass the National and Strategic Studies course cannot graduate.


Sources in the Ministry of Higher Education confirmed that the subject was compulsory at all colleges and polytechnics.


The Zimbabwe Independent this week spoke to a number of students at the Harare Polytechnic who face the possibility of being denied graduation in August after refusing to sit for the National and Strategic Studies exams.

A question paper for this year’s final exams currently underway contains questions such as: “Which political party in Zimbabwe represents the interests of imperialists and how must it be viewed by Zimbabweans?”


Another question asked is: “African leaders who try to serve the interests of imperialists are called what and how do you view patriotism?”


The National and Strategic Studies department at the Polytechnic has three permanent tutors. However, students said they had been boycotting most of the lessons, inviting the ire of authorities who have vowed to deny those who fail their certificates.


Head of the National and Strategic Studies department at the Harare Polytechnic, a Mr Gavi, could not be reached for comment this week.