Govt sucked into college enrolment saga

Some $80,000 raised by Seke Teacher’s College from over 8,000 prospective student teachers interviewed for 500 vacancies recently will be surrendered to Treasury.

Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Olivia Muchena
Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Olivia Muchena

The college interviewed some unprecedented 8,000 aspiring student teachers last week, charging $10 per applicant. Observers have questioned why the college opted to interview such a big number for a limited number of vacancies.

The college principal, Ephraim Mutubuki, told The Zimbabwean that it was government policy that all applicants with five Ordinary Level passes including English, Maths and Science be given the opportunity to compete for the 500 vacancies, while treasury would decide how the application fees would be disbursed.

“I am simply following government policy and have no personal interest in either the interview process or the funds raised. The money will go to Treasury,” Mutubuki said.

He admitted that selecting the most suitable candidates from the thousands applicants would be a mammoth task, since all interviewees met the basic entry requirement.

Sources at the college revealed that some political bigwigs were submitting lists of applicants to be given priority, a trend that might prejudice bona fide applicants. Some aspiring students interviewed said the college should have called for postal and online applications instead of swindling poor applicants of their hard earned money. They said it was unfair for the college to collect $10 from each one of them, given that only 500 vacancies were on the table.

“We know this is a government fund-raising scam aimed at robbing desperate job seekers of the little money they have,” said an applicant, who only identified herself as Miriam from St Marys’.

Government recently banned secondary schools from conducting interviews for aspiring students following concerns that they were doing so to raise money as they dealt with interviewees who far outstripped the number of available vacancies.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said he was not aware of what was happening as he was out of the country. He promised to investigate and revert with feedback.

The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Olivia Muchena, refused to comment and referred questions to her permanent secretary who could not be reached.

MDC-T described the interviews as an obscene way of fund raising by government. MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, said: “It’s sad and unfair.”

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *