‘500 students sue University’

OVER five hundred teacher diploma students have jointly sued Rusangu University and Eden Institute of Education for alleged failing to deliver on their enrolment promise of graduating them with Teacher Diploma Certificates at the end of their training.

This is after the Rusangu University and Eden terminated a Memorandum of Understanding that bound them to facilitate a teachers’ training programme and eventual graduation of the 504 enrolled students.

According to writs filed at the Lusaka High Court, Nelson Phiri and 503 others have take legal action against the two learning institutions for their failure to guarantee their completion of the Diploma programme and graduation.

Mr Phiri said they have sought the court’s intervention to compel Rusangu and Eden provide training as per agreed terms in the Memorandum of Understanding dated 31 December 2014 to end in 2018 in which the affiliates enrolled students to be trained as diploma students and be graduated by Rusangu University thereafter.

“The plaintiffs (students) are claiming an order compelling the defendants to meet all their obligations regarding the learning and graduation requirements of the plaintiffs,” he said.

This was after Eden and Rusangu decided to terminate the MoU following the introduction of new learners’ curriculum by the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education to standardize teachers’ training for both public and private training institutions.

“The said termination of the MoU between the 1st (Rusangu) and 2nd defendants (Eden) entails that the plaintiffs (students) are left without recourse as to how they would graduate.

“This is due to the fact that the Diploma programme was structured by the 1st defendant therefore the award was a sole obligation of the 1st defendant,” he said.

The development required all colleges and universities to affiliate with the Examination Council of Zambia as the accreditation body for all teacher training institutions.

Mr Phiri explained that Eden Institute and Rusangu should remain bound to the MoU which affiliated them to provide the Diploma programme to over 500 scholars who were already enrolled in first, second and third year programmes till their graduation in 2018.

He explained that the two institutions remained duty-bound to provide education for the over 500 trainee teachers affiliated under their diploma programme until their graduation as earlier agreed.

“The revised accreditation system by the MEVTEE was to be implemented with exceptions regarding institutions which were already affiliated to other institutions until the old curriculum was phased out.

“The said exceptions were to allow students who had already commenced on the old curricula to graduate from their respective accredited bodies,” he said.

The complainants have since appealed to the High Court to compel the two institutions to deliver on their promise of a Diploma learning programme and graduation to the students until 2018.

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