GOVERNMENT owes $62 million to different colleges in terms of payment of tuition fees for students in the cadetship programme.
The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology secretary Washington Mbizvo disclosed this when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher Education chaired by MDC-T Chinhoyi MP Peter Mataruse.
He said as a result colleges were affected in terms of procuring teaching aids and supervision of student teachers on teaching practice.
“We received only $500 000 for the cadetship programme this year against a deficit of $62 million over the years,” said Mbizvo.
“For this year we should have got $8 000 000 for cadetship, but we only received $500 000 and it came nine days ago and we have not yet distributed it to colleges.”
He also warned teachers’ college principals who were in the habit of fleecing members of the public by inviting thousands of applicants to compete for a few places to train as teachers.
His comments came in the wake of revelations that Seke Teacher’s College recently invited 7 000 people who were made to pay $10 each when only about 500 places were available.
“It was a violation of procedure whereby Seke Teacher’s College principal Ephraim Mutubuki invited 7 000 applicants to interviews for two days because the proper procedure was that adverts must be placed and then slightly more than 600 applicants are invited for interviews. The Seke Teacher’s College principal was summoned by the ministry to ensure specific corrective measures were put in place,” he said.
Mbizvo told the committee that his ministry had not yet received a cent for operational costs for all colleges in Zimbabwe resulting in them facing challenges in paying for electricity and water bills.