|Illegal colleges, private schools shut|
|Saturday, 26 May 2012 20:46|
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Lulu Brenda Harris
Sunday News Correspondent
Over 160 colleges and private schools have been forcibly shut nationwide in a massive exercise by Government to rid the country of unsuitable and unregistered learning institutions.
These centres are either unfit for learning, are of an unreputable nature or have hired unqualified teachers, some with criminal records.
The Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture embarked on the exercise in April and is still going around the country conducting inspections and deregistering non-compliant institutions.
The education ministry has already issued warnings to the faulty and other colleges that whoever defies the Government and goes against proper channels will face the full wrath of the law.
So far, in Bulawayo, six colleges have been shut and deregistered.
These are EMCEE Study Centre, Hospitality College, New Era College, New Vision College, Athol Desmond and Speciss Abercon.
In Matabeleland South, Advance Rural College in West Nicholson has closed operations.
In Midlands, 11 institutions such as Ambassador, Harvest House and Pinewood colleges have also faced the chop.
Harare tops the list with more than 120 faulty colleges distributed around the province namely Afro Kombs College and Achievers Learning Centre with some operating from outside the capital such as Prestige College, Kusile College, The Executive Assistant based in Bulawayo.
Other provinces such as Manicaland shut eight including Mountview Education Centre.
Masvingo closed three including Mbizvo Commercial College.
Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West deregistered one each namely Chestar Investment and Foundation of Knowledge respectively.
While Mashonaland East deregistered three centres such as Herentals College.
This chop means students who had enrolled in these institutions have to look for other alternative vacancies at other appropriately registered colleges despite that they would have already paid school fees.
Deputy Minister, Cde Lazarus Dokora, urged parents to always inquire whether the school or institution they want to send their children meets all the necessary requirements of the education ministry before they pay fees.
He said there were number of factors which came to play when the ministry was inspecting the colleges or learning centres.
“We look at what makes these institutions fail namely, are the teachers qualified? Do they have criminal records? Will the children be in good hands? Does the institution have enough space?
“A class may have 40 children in a room fit for only 15 or 20 students. The ministry looks at hygienic factors, does the institution have proper ablution facilities?
“Overally is the standard of learning equivalent to the money paid by the parent?’’ he explained.
The deputy minister said if these colleges failed to meet the ministry’s conditions, the ministry would also refuse with their registration adding the law would be hot on their heels.