250 illegal colleges shut down
By Thandeka Moyo
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. The Herald