HARARE – Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo has reversed an order issued by his ministry evoking the closure of more than 300 private schools and independent colleges alleged to be “operating illegally”.
Of the 300 private schools and colleges, more than a third of them were domiciled in the capital city.
The notice had caused anxious moments among parents and guardians of students who are enrolled at these learning centres, with the affected school authorities threatening to take legal action against the ministry.
Yesterday, the ministry’s head, Moyo, beat a hasty retreat.
He said the notice which appeared in the media on Sunday, naming several private schools and colleges for being non-compliant with the Manpower Planning and Development Act Chapter 28:02 subsection 1 and Statutory Instruments 333 of 1996 and 26 of 2001, was erroneous.
“The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education wishes to advise affected institutions and the public that the advert was irregularly flighted without proper authorisation and is thus null and void,” Moyo said in a statement.
“Any inconveniences caused to bona fide institutions is regretted. Procedural steps are being taken to deal with those institutions that are operating illegally or those that have not regularised their programmes in terms of the law,” he added.
The advert came as the ministry is carrying out its mandate of inspecting private and independent training institution to ensure that they are compliant on critical issues of registration that guarantee quality education and training.
The advert had claimed that institutions in Bulawayo Metro, Harare Metro and Chitungwiza, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, and Midlands Province, had been inspected.
It went on to say that among the schools operating illegally was Harare’s Hellenic Academy, Girls College in Bulawayo and Herentals Colleges in Harare, Mutare and Kwekwe, which were asked to immediately shutdown.
The ministry also said, also operating illegally was Peter Birch Art School for School Leavers, Reformed Church University, Luton Business and Computing College, St John’s Ambulance and Foundation College in Bulawayo.
The advert further added that Miracle College in Murambinda, Tanganda Training Centre in Chipinge, Foundation College in Masvingo, Earth Moving Machinery Operators — Africa in Beitbridge, Hwange and Tongaat Hullet Training Centre in Triangle were also running illegally are
Zaoga School of Dressmaking in Rusape, Mbizo Vocational Training Centre and Zimasco Training Centre in Shurugwi has also been asked to shut down with immediate effect for operating illegally.
Headlining schools that the advert from the ministry said had been deregistered was Ilsa College in Harare and Great Zimbabwe Technical College in Masvingo.
St Georges’ College, Lomagundi College, Dominican Convent High School, Watershed College, Chisipite Senior School and St George’s High School were said to be offering certificates and diplomas without registering with Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development ministry in terms of Manpower Planning and Development Act Chapter 28:02. – Daily News