Fake universities to be closed down
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Paulino Wanawilla in Parliament yesterday (Viola Matela)
By Viola Matela
More than 26 higher institutions of learning among them private universities which have been operating in the country since 2012, only five meet the academic criteria required by the government. However, the government has vowed to close down all unregistered and unlicensed institutions operating in the country with immediate effect to save the learning situation in the country.
According to the Specialized Committee for Education in parliament, these institutions were now up to five-six years operating, giving false documents to students while the government kept quiet saying almost nothing about the saga.
Mohammed Ahmed Musa, the Chairperson of the Specialized Committee on Education Research, Science and Technology in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly revealed this yesterday in a meeting with the Minister of Education yesterday.
“Our students are suffering because of this scenario. A number of private and foreign universities are working in the country and graduating students, year after year. At the end, the students receive unrecognized certificates and end up being a burden to us all across the country,” Ahmed decried.
In the meeting, the Minister of Justice was summoned by the Specialized Committee of Education in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly to address and explain the students’ welfare fund, shutting down of bogus private universities and licensing private educational institutions.
“We received a letter from the Minister of Higher Education that they had submitted a letter to the Ministry of Justice to start the close down of these universities,” Ahmed said.
According to the Parliamentarians, those universities were over flooding the country with fake documents and to protect students, they had to be shutdown.
The Minister of Justice however said that the shutting down of those substandard private universities was not meant to be effected by the Ministry of Justice but rather the Ministry of Interior.
“We resolved to tell the Minister of Higher Education to write to the Minister of Interior so that it can be enforced as soon as possible,” Justice Paulino Wanawilla said.
“When this issue came up under Prof. Peter Adwok, the Minister of Higher Education by then, we engaged with one another. I told him to write to the police with the names of those universities and let them close them down,” he added.
The Members of Parliament further noted that the people running those institutions actually did not have proper academic documents to be entrusted with educating the country’s next generation.
Insisting that the shutdown of unregistered private and foreign universities would be implemented this time round, Ahmed said everyone was under the law including government officials.
“A country is the law and all citizens must abide by the law. This time, these universities will be closed down. We are not against them; they can correct themselves, get the license in the right way and become fully registered,” he said.