THE Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) has appealed to employers to accept hundreds of Early Childhood Education (ECD) diploma holders, who graduated from the institution before the programme was discontinued after deregistration of a partner school, Elephant Colleges.
By Senior Reporter
ZOU’s appeal came in the wake of complaints by diploma graduates that their qualification was not being recognised by the Civil Service Commission, making them jobless for the past four years after attaining the diplomas.
ZOU spokesperson Ndai Nyamakura confirmed the graduates’ dilemma, saying the institutions had introduced a number of mechanisms to remedy the situation.
“For those that have completed their studies and were graduated with the institution we would like the prospective employers to recruit them as qualified personnel because our chancellor (President Robert Mugabe) capped them,” Nyamakura said.
She added that ZOU discontinued the programme after the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education delisted Elephant Colleges from its list of accredited tertiary institutions.
“The problem arose when a partnership we had with Elephant Colleges collapsed after the college was closed down because it did not meet requirements set by the council,” she added.
Some of the graduates told NewsDay that they were being treated as semi-skilled by the Education ministry.
“Since 2010 when I graduated, I have been employed as semi-skilled teacher by schools and my salary came from the school development committee,” said one disgruntled graduate.
“The teaching profession is better off employing these ECD diploma holders than students who have just completed their Ordinary Level.”
Many students have recently started studying for tertiary qualifications with open and distance learning institutions as conventional colleges were overwhelmed by students.