250 illegal colleges shut down

Thandeka Moyo Bulawayo Bureau
FOUNDATION College, the prestigious Girls College and Dominican Convent High School are part of 251 private and independent training institutions which have been closed with immediate effect for non- compliance with the country’s registration and operation procedures.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development’s TVET Quality assurance standards compliance inspectorate yesterday, in Bulawayo nine colleges were deregistered and 32 are said to be operating illegally.

The ministry said of the total schools which have been closed, 119 were from Harare province.

The institutions fell foul of the Manpower Planning and Development Act Chapter 28:02, Statutory Instruments 333 of 1996 and 26 of 2001.

In Bulawayo, Dominican Convent High School and Petra High School are said to be offering certificates and diplomas without registering with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.

Watershed College, Chisipite Senior School and St George’s High School, all in Harare were also shut down for the same reason.

Girls College, Foundation College (Annexe), City College of Computers are cited as operating illegally.

A majority of vocational training centres – which are mostly run by local authorities countrywide – are also said to be operating illegally.

“The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development is carrying out its mandate of inspecting private and independent training institutions to ensure that they are compliant with the Act. In this ongoing exercise, institutions in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South provinces, Harare, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West, Masvingo and Midlands provinces have been inspected,” read the statement.

“In this regard 41 Bulawayo schools are herein closed with immediate effect for non- compliance with the provisions of the said Act.”

The nine Bulawayo schools which were deregistered are Foundation College, Academy Learning, GTG Information Technology Centre, Hillview International College, Mabero Technical College, ZDECO, ZAOGA Nketa 7, Mosmarch International College and the Zimbabwe Institute of Commercial Studies.

“In Harare province 16 were deregistered while 103 colleges are operating illegally. For Manicaland, 19 institutions are operating illegally and eight were deregistered.”

According to the statement, 13 colleges are operating illegally in Mashonaland East while Mashonaland East had one institution.

“Matabeleland North and South provinces have a total of 10 institutions which have been closed for operating illegally. In Midlands 13 colleges were deregistered while 14 are said to be operating illegally,” read the statement.

The ministry said 20 institutions from Masvingo were closed for non-compliance with the Act.

A comment could not be obtained from the affected institutions yesterday.

In 2012, the ministry deregistered more than 113 institutions countrywide and deregistered 42 at a time when most students were writing their final examinations.

Some of the colleges were operating without licences while others did not meet acceptable standards.

Others were operating from unapproved premises, violating the Manpower Planning and Development Act (Chapter 28:02) and Statutory Instruments No. 333 of 1996 and 26 of 2001.

The Act allows for the prosecution of colleges and training institutions that violate the regulations.

The Act reads: “If the responsible authority of a teachers college or a technical or vocational institution fails to comply, to the Secretary’s satisfaction, with any requirement referred to in subsection (1) within the period specified by the Secretary in terms of that subsection, or within any extension of that period granted by the Secretary in writing, the Secretary shall notify the responsible authority in writing that he has cancelled the registration of the college or institution, and shall publish notice of the cancellation in the Gazette within twenty-one days thereafter.”

Then Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education Dr Washington Mbizvo said the blitz, being carried out by the ministry’s standards and compliance inspectorate committee, sought to safeguard the country’s education standards.

He said the police would ensure the colleges remained shut until they complied.

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  • Moe_Scyslack2

    How about just asking them to sort out their paperwork instead of wasting resources like this? Chisipite Girls, Dominican, etc these are elite schools.

    • Dhara Ice

      It does not show that they are elite. They failed basic administrative requirements. How many more short cuts are they taking?

    • Tee

      Mbizvo is nolonger Ps in this Ministry

  • mpengo

    Help me understand, a high school that also offers some kind of vocational certification is closed entirely?… including its registered(Primary & Secondary Education) academic programs?

    Seems a bit harsh

    What about the children’s standard learning?

    Unless it’s closing of the actual programmes that are subversive to law.

    Or is the Herald reporter sensationalistic to sell news …or he’s dull…or it really is the case and the entire school is closed on account of the unregistered vocational certification?

    Zvimwe munofungawo

    Alikelicabange kancane

  • Development Proponent

    From the schools listed above there appears to be a problem with the government itself and not the colleges listed. I would not understand how St. Georges would be said to be unlicensed or unregistered for whatever purposes. In Zimbabwe I have noted that there is a tendency to make compliance difficult by charging unreasonable fees in an economy that is not performing or alternatively by being too bureaucratic and complex for nothing. It takes less than 6 hours and a few dollars for a new foreign company to register in Rwanda and in Zimbabwe it might take months. We are not only stifling foreign investment but are even discouraging local companies or institutions from investing.

  • xyz

    What standards? Government schools practice “hot seating” and in some cases 3 sessions a day meaning that some pupils do not go into a classroom for the whole week and a class can have 65 pupils and 1 teacher.

  • This shows lack of caring on the part of the ministry officials. Surely to close colleges two days before term ends? Ko ma boarder? Monday morning, no warning. So kids must arrive at closed school gates when this could have been communicated on Friday last week. Institutions must regularise their activities and operate within the confines of the law but this is nonsense.

  • yowe

    Zvazvakaoma

  • Tinovaziva

    Stupid headline. Click-bait

  • Hondomurutswa

    “Mphoko should behave like the VP of a law abiding country. He has a patchy war record that ended up with an AWOL to marital bliss in Maputo as his erstwhile comrades braved through the final heroic combat. Mphoko is (the) ** (and) believes in hazy hereditary accession to power and dynastic delusions. He has no reason to be in such a high post save for political caprice and chicanery,” Instead of attacking these schools let us hear what Mutsvangwa has said above. These are more important matters that require attention if we are to move this country forward. We need to exorcise ourselves of corruption and deal with Vice Presidents who have no respect of the rule of law. Mphoko has been responsible for the release of a number of criminals and calls them “my boys” assaulting the police in the process and yet we leave such glaring shortcomings to deal with schools that seem to be doing well in this country where government investment in education is now virtually non existent. Surely, these are small matters that can be easily regularised. I do not know however if the corruption cancer can be cured. The absence of the rule of law emanating from public utterances by one who is not even a government official unwittingly giving a judgment at some rally on a matter before the courts. How bad can things be? This issue of unregistered institutions is not an issue in a country where there is no rule of law. Deal with the bigger problem and everything else will fall into place.

  • Fungayi

    This is nothing for the herald to report proudly as it shows we have people not doing their jobs in the ministry,where were the provincial EO’s when this was happening,there were sitting on their bums instead of visiting and carrying out the relevant inspections ….they should be FIRED first ,they we can look at how best we can regularise the schools not to have pupils suffer for someone wasting tax payers money not doing their job

  • Moe_Scyslack2

    When I demand to live my life with dignity I’m not constructive? Zanuoid.