THE Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) National Student Representative Council (SRC), through Centre for Student Management (CSM), has set aside $10 000 towards the Students Bereavement Fund.
The move which has been described as a brilliant idea by the ZOU student community will see each one of the 10 ZOU Regional campuses dotted around the country’s 10 provinces getting a funding to the tune of $1000 to start with.
According to Director CSM, Professor David Chakuchichi, the money was supposed to be disbursed to all the Regional campuses last week.
The fund came at a time when ZOU lost four students in different Regional campuses.
However, Prof Chakuchichi added that the four families were to get assistance from the ZOU under the new fund.
Speaking at a Student Affairs meeting in the capital recently, ZOU National SRC president Chamunorwa Mahachi said the rise in the death of students has forced his council to come up with such a fund that will help bereaved families in case of such happenings. This fund came at the backdrop of ZOU losing four students in this first quarter of the year, with the latest mishap being a road accident.
“I think the writing is on the walls for every one of us to see. We can’t be losing students at such a rate then we continue to keep quiet. Some of these students will be bread winners in their families and once they are dead no one will be even able to make sure that they get proper and deserving send off. I know $100 which every family is set to get might not be enough, but I am sure it will go a long way in assisting the bereaved family,” Mahachi said,
From the $1000 that will be disbursed to all the Regional campuses, a family will get a minimum $100 in case a ZOU family member passes on.
“We sat down and agreed as a council that a minimum 0f $100 will be made available, but in the case that the respective Regional campus and National SRC see the need to increase the money, it can be done, even to the extent of buying the coffin or any other additionals like food in liaison with the family,” Mahachi added.
ZOU lost 13 students in 2017