Government Of Zimbabwe Has Threatened To Deregister Private Colleges Violating The Education Act


The government of Zimbabwe has threatened to deregister private colleges that are violating the Education Act. This could result in students enrolled at backyard private colleges being unable to attend lessons when schools reopen for the first term in January 2024. The Education Act mandates that independent colleges must register with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.


In recent years, there has been a rise in backyard colleges in Zimbabwe, as parents seek alternatives to public schools that suffer from teacher and textbook shortages. However, many of these private colleges have been operating without the necessary licenses. Last year, when the government ordered the closure of unlicensed private schools, approximately 22,000 learners in the capital city were unable to attend classes.


Moses Mhike, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education, expressed the ministry’s willingness to engage in dialogue with private colleges to ensure their compliance with regulations. He told NewsDay:


When you have partners you work with in the education sector and you do not dialogue, the majority of the time you then drift apart.


As the ministry, we have been issuing out circular directives and we then thought it was going to be very wise for us to be able to engage our independent colleges.

It is not that as a ministry we do not want to apply the rules and regulations, but we believe if we are going to be dialoguing, we are going to get results that will favour everyone and contribute to quality education in the nation.


Come 2024, we are going to be rolling out a programme where we are going to be engaging these independent colleges so that they regularise.


The other issue we have observed is that they have not been coming to the ministry for them to be able to have their levies and fees approved because the Education Act and attendant regulations are very clear that that should be sorted from the ministry and then things go accordingly.


It is estimated that as of 2022, around 22,569 students were enrolled in illegal institutions.


To register a school in Zimbabwe, the requirements include completing an application form, being a legal entity, having appropriate infrastructure and qualified staff, offering an approved curriculum, having a clear fee structure, meeting health and safety standards, having access to educational resources, paying a registration fee, and undergoing inspection by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.