By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
02 June 2014
A student support body has denounced Seke Teachers’ College for charging aspiring teachers an interview fee of $10 each, saying this was equivalent to taxing jobseekers.
Authorities conducted interviews for this year’s intake on May 22nd and 23rd with at least 8,000 hopefuls vying for 500 vacancies, according to a NewsDay report.
Based on these figures the Chitungwiza-based institution earned $80,000 from the process.
The Students Solidarity Trust has questioned the motive behind inviting such a large number of candidates, when only a limited number of spaces were on offer.
The student welfare group described the decision as a “fundraising gimmick” and condemned the college for succumbing “to the evil trappings of money”.
The group’s coordinator, Simbarashe Moyo, accused the college authorities of failing to draw up a shortlist in its bid to fleece would-be trainees.
He said the college authorities knew exactly how many recruits they wanted and should have whittled down the number of candidates to a reasonable figure.
“By inviting so many candidates for the few available vacancies, it’s clear that the intention was to simply raise money from these poor school-leavers who are trying to join the teaching profession,” Moyo said on Monday.
“We are worried that if Seke college authorities are allowed to get away with this, they would have set a bad precedent, as other tertiary institutions will also start charging jobseekers,” he said.
“What we have just witnessed is the commodification of education, the taxing of the poor and vulnerable by a college which is expected to conduct itself ethically.”
Moyo also accused college authorities of raising the hopes of thousands of school-leavers, yet knowing full well that the college had no spaces for them.
“This is heartless and despicable. The authorities knew that given the desperate economic conditions and unemployment prevailing in the country every school-leaver would jump at the prospect of attending an interview at whatever cost.”
Moyo said the Students Solidarity Trust had since petitioned Seke college principal Ephraim Mutubuki, registering their concerns.
“We also hope to team up with other welfare-based organisations to approach the higher and tertiary education ministry to look into this before it becomes a culture,” he said.