Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
THE Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Professor Jonathan Moyo, has said officials who unprocedurally flighted an advertisement announcing that the Government had closed 251 private schools will not go unpunished.
The Minister has since dismissed the advert which stated that the institutions had been closed over non-compliance with operational and registration licences as null and void.
Responding to questions posed by members of the public on his micro blogging site Twitter yesterday, Prof Moyo said the unprofessional behaviour displayed by the Ministry’s officials behind the withdrawn public notice would not go unpunished.
“There will be consequences. Unofficial, unprofessional and illegal administrative conduct will not go unpunished. Make no mistake about that,” twitted Prof Moyo.
He said the advert was smuggled into the media without his approval or that of the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Prof Francis Gudyanga.
“The Permanent Secretary did not know or approve either. It was done illegally and nicodemously by officials below the Permanent Secretary,” twitted Prof Moyo.
“And the officials who issued the closure press release on Sunday did so without my knowledge or permission, as the administrator of the Act.”
The advert which was flighted on Sunday said the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development’s TVET Quality Assurance Standards Compliance Inspectorate had shut down 251 colleges and private institutions for operating illegally.
Some of the affected schools include Bulawayo’s prestigious Girls College, Dominican Convent High School and Petra High School among other institutions deemed to be operating illegally.
According to the statement, the schools were offering higher and tertiary certificates and diplomas without registering with the Ministry.
Prof Moyo apologised to affected institutions saying it was not the Ministry’s position to shut down the schools.
He promised that procedural steps were being taken to ensure that the guilty institutions were in compliance with the law.