HPTO NetOne

‘Bill must empower college principals’

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VARIOUS stakeholders yesterday called on legislators to clearly spell out the working conditions of colleges and
polytechnics principals and equate their role to that of vice chancellors, the Daily News reports.
This emerged during public hearings on the Zimbabwe Manpower Planning and Development Bill held online yesterday by the parliamentary portfolio committee. Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic principal Ngoni Moyo
said there was need for principals of colleges and polytechnics to be awarded the same terms of service
as university vice chancellors as they do similar administrative work.

“Principals of colleges are of theview that the Bill minimises the post of college principal. It is mentioned in passing
in Section 6A (1). Our input is that this position must be equated to the position of vice chancellor of State universities, with the same conditions of work. The administrative responsibilities are the same,” Moyo said.

“The Bill should make it mandatory for the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) to contribute towards infrastructure development in institutions with inadequate infrastructure such as workshops, staff accommodation and students’ hostels.

“The minister should identify deserving institutions within his or her purview to benefit from the fund for such a purpose. Many institutions of higher and tertiary education built after independence lack infrastructure to enable them to fulfil the mandate of the Bill,” Moyo added.

The Bill, among other things, removes the Higher and Tertiary Education minister as the responsible authority to
manage Zimdef while replacing him with a board in a bid to curb corruption.

The Bill also spells out conditions for the appointment of principals of colleges and polytechnics under the Tertiary
Education Council and addresses issues pertaining to gender balance, transparency and accountability in financial matters.

Under a provision of the Bill, the proposed law outlines mandatory posts required in technical and vocational institutions and teachers colleges.

“The Tertiary Education Council shall, for every technical and vocational institution and teachers college appoint
— one or more vice principals; a registrar who shall be responsible for the general administration of the institution; a bursar who shall report to the principal and act as accountant for the technical and vocational institution and
teachers college and shall be responsible for safeguarding its funds and authorising its investments and expenditure; a librarian who shall be responsible for the administration and safeguarding of the library of the
technical and vocational institution and teachers college; internal auditor who shall act as the auditor
to the technical and vocational institution and teachers’ college and shall be responsible for monitoring the
financial administration and procedures of the technical and vocational institution or teachers college…”
read part of the Bill.

Meanwhile, a participant who identified himself as Edward Phiri indicated that the Bill needed to be restructured to clearly spell out the scope of principals’ work. “The principals of teachers’ colleges and polytechnics are chief
executive officers of these institutions and their position should be spelt out clearly in the Bill. “As alluded to by one colleague, we are equivalent to vice chancellors and I propose that this be considered,” Phiri said.

Another participant, Albert Muchena, also said there was need for changes in terms of the basis of appointments of principals and vice principals of colleges while calling for the appointment of two or more vice principals to deal with academic and nonacademic affairs.

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