Z.O.U teaching diploma useless - public service commission
THOUSANDS of teachers who attained a Diploma in Education from the Zimbabwe Open University have been rendered jobless after the Public Service Commission refused to recognise the qualification.
The diploma was launched five years ago and benefited thousands of people, mostly temporary teachers who had failed to get training vacancies at conventional colleges.
The first group graduated in 2010. When schools opened last week, the graduates had to downgrade themselves and offer Ordinary and Advanced level certificates, in desperate attempts to get contracts as temporary teachers. Higher and Tertiary Deputy Minister Lutho Tapela confirmed the development yesterday.
“We are aware of the matter. You may contact the Permanent Secretary for details,” he said.
Efforts to get comment from the Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education Dr Washington Mbizvo were fruitless while the responsible Minister Stan Mudenge was said to be in China on business.
The graduates have since petitioned ZOU vice chancellor Dr Primrose Kurasha. They are also threatening legal action against the university. Dr Kurasha yesterday said she could not discuss the issue over the phone.
“I am in a meeting right now. May you forward your questions in writing and we will properly respond to them like we always do when dealing with The Herald,” she said.
In a petition to Dr Kurasha, teachers who graduated two years ago after undergoing a three-year training programme, said: “We hereby forward our petition seeking permission to hand over our grievance to the Chancellor himself (President Mugabe).”
“It is a great concern to note that our issue has not been solved for over one-and-a-half years after the first graduates to the course.
“We therefore seek the Chancellor’s intervention in order to rest all the conflicts surrounding the issue. We have endured the pain for long (its) depriving us our social, professional and economical status within the society.”
The graduates have now resorted to using their Ordinary Level certificates to secure temporary teaching posts in primary schools.
“We hereby inform you that failure to meet the above request we shall seek legal intervention,” reads the petition.
ZOU pro-vice-chancellor (academic affairs) Professor Takawira Gwarinda said he was not comfortable discussing the issue over the phone.
ZOU is an institution of higher learning offering open and distance learning and started off as the Centre for Distance Education under the University of Zimbabwe in 1993 before it became a fully-fledged university