Child reps accuse private colleges

Private colleges have mushroomed as a result of the deterioration in public education through mismanagement and corruption. But these colleges, which have proliferated in the last decade, do not offer sports, arts or cultural exchange.

Speaking at a launch the Zimbabwe Child Rights Audit, representatives accused the colleges of profiteering, as desperate parents lose patience with strikes by disgruntled teachers and plummeting standards in government schools.

“Children at these colleges do not dress properly and are often not well behaved,” said Sandile Gumede, the child governor for Harare.

Many colleges have children learning in overcrowded conditions. In some cases, children as young as 12 are exposed to adults as there is no age limit.

“A child does not only go to school to attain education but also to learn values for it is at schools that children learn their morals,” said Tomuseni.

Last year the Ministry of Education, Art Sports and Culture closed scores of unregistered private colleges, but child representatives noted that the clampdown did not resolve the problems.

The minister, David Coltart, said that the issue of private colleges was a cause for concern but said the blame lay with the present curriculum.

“It’s a major concern that the colleges are not following the rules, but the problem is with our curriculum that does not include culture, sports and arts. So we need to incorporate these into a new curriculum,” said Coltart.

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