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Zimbabwe Closes Unregistered Colleges and Private Schools

Zimbabwe has continued its crackdown on unregistered colleges and private schools, closing down some 160 uncertified learning institutions.

Last year 124 private colleges and independent training institutions were shut down while 31 others were de-registered when they failed to comply with the country's education laws.

Private learning institutions mushroomed in Zimbabwe over the past decade as the country's public education system collapsed. Now officials are clamping down on schools that fail to follow laid down rules.

Authorities also say most of these colleges have exploited families and students out of hard-earned cash, ignoring structured education standards and requirements.

Zimbabwe National Students Union spokesman Zachariah Mushawatu told VOA the closing down of these institutions has a greater affect on students who have invested time and money into their studies.

"There are some unregistered institutions which subscribe to quality standards that are actually at par," he said. "They employ people that have the qualifications to impart knowledge."

Mushawatu said the government must weed out the ones working to gain money only.

College Lecturers Association of Zimbabwe president David Dzatsunga supports the government’s move to close down "dubious" institutions, which he says down grade education in the country.

"At the end of the day you wonder if these so-called colleges have got the personnel to offer the kind of quality education Zimbabwe has been famed for," said Dzatsunga. "You would want to believe that those who may be attain qualifications in reputable institutions become diluted by these fly-by-night commercial colleges."