Errant teachers to lose certificates
Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
GOVERNMENT is crafting a new law to compel colleges and universities to withdraw certificates of errant teachers and lecturers who sexually abuse pupils and students in return for higher grades.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony at Mkoba Teachers’ College in Gweru last Friday, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister Dr Godfrey Gandawa said the ministry was working on a law to address the abuse of learners.
He said there were many cases of teachers who sexually abused pupils and juveniles and in some instances leading to pregnancy.
In universities there are cases of lecturers demanding sex from students in exchange for higher grades or underserved passes.
“When these cases come out, there is now need to find out where this teacher was trained so that we reflect also on the college’s teachings. Teachers who are unethical must be punished severely and their certificates withdrawn. We will soon enact a law,” said Dr Gandawa.
“More often than not, we have had rampant cases of abuse of children in schools by teachers who should be the custodians of exemplary behaviour. Teachers have raped or impregnated young girls. When this happens we start questioning the training and morality of the teacher.”
Dr Gandawa said the law should also cover private colleges and universities.
“We are actually in the process of crafting a new law for higher and tertiary education institutions which also includes private colleges and universities. In that same law that is where we are putting deterrent measures to make sure that we curb such practices,” he said.
Dr Gandawa said the law would harmonise all 20 Acts that separately govern the higher and tertiary education system.
He said the separation of the Acts had led to malpractices and inconsistencies in the administration of tertiary institutions.
“It is a comprehensive proposal which encompasses all 20 Acts that currently govern universities and colleges because each institution has its own Act. The variation of policies causes disharmony in the running of the institutions. Once this law is done it will control malpractices. Even in universities, lecturers solicit for sexual favours from students to award them marks and all that will be captured in the Act,” he said.
Dr Gandawa said teachers should be above reproach and influence learner behaviour.
He capped 417 granduands who were conferred with diplomas in education.
Among these, 205 specialised in Early Childhood Development while 31 majored in mathematics and 52 in science.