By Leonard Ncube
About 1 000 students at the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) Matabeleland North regional campus in Hwange are in a quandary after the Government ordered the distance learning institution to move out of its premises to pave way for newly established Hwange Teachers’ College.
ZOU has been given 13 days to vacate the premises.
The move has caused panic among students who have objected to the decision and vowed to resist relocation.
Hwange Teachers’ College was established early this year as a satellite of the United College of Education (UCE) in Bulawayo and operates from Thomas Coulter Annex in Hwange, used by ZOU for the past five years.
In a letter to ZOU Vice Chancellor Professor Francis Mugabe, Permanent Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Professor Fanuel Tagwira ordered the institution to vacate next week.
Chronicle is in possession of the letter dated September 18.
“In line with the Ministry’s policy of establishing one teachers’ college in each of the 10 provinces, the Ministry has the pleasure to inform you of the establishment of Hwange Teachers’ College in Matabeleland North Province currently operating as a satellite college of the United College of Education at Thomas Coulter Annex in Hwange town.
“In that regard, may you facilitate the relocation of your Matabeleland North regional office to other premises to allow for more teaching and learning space for the college to fully operate by end of September,” read the letter.
ZOU’s options will be to relocate to Bulawayo or Victoria Falls which, sources at the institution said, will be a disadvantage to students who are mostly from Hwange and Binga. The Chronicle