380 Students Recalled to UDOM

Hardly five per cent of the entire batch of about 8,000 students who were recently suspended from the University of Dodoma had the required qualifications to pursue the Special Diploma in Science Education at the public university.
The Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Prof Joyce Ndalichako, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the 1,471 students, constituting about 19 per cent of the total number, lacked even the qualifications for the certificate course. Prof Ndalichako said the students have been disqualified, with the other 5,952 students relocated to other teaching colleges to continue with their studies.
The government introduced the special programme to address shortage of science teachers at primary and secondary education levels, admitting Form Four leavers with division three to pursue the course at the Dodoma-based university.
The admission procedures were however grossly flouted, with out of the 7,805 admitted, only 382 students proved to have the C and A in two science subjects, which were the minimum criteria for entry into the programme.
The minister directed the 382 qualified students to report at the university in October, 2016 to continue with their studies, demanding them to report with their original Form Four certificates for reassessment.
"We have asked them to bring with them their original certificates due to our preliminary assessment that has indicated some of them finished Form Four in 1988... this poses serious questions," Professor Ndalichako explained The about 8,000 students were sent home last May, following a boycott by their lecturers.
The minister said the verification of academic certificates discovered that only 134 first year students possessed the required qualifications, with only 248 second year students meeting the requirements for the special programme.
The government, Prof Ndalichako said, will sustain the loans to the qualified students for the programme at UDOM while providing 600,000/- annual grants to transferred students to teaching colleges. "Students who have been transferred to teaching colleges are supposed to report in September, 2016," she said.
Prof Ndalichako pointed out that a total of 4,586 students who were in first year pursuing a special Diploma in Secondary Education have been transferred to teaching colleges in Morogoro, Butimba, Mpwapwa, Songea and Tukuyu.
The other 1,337 students who were in second year for the special programme have been transferred to teaching colleges in Korogwe and Kasulu, she explained. Addressing the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) community, including the administration and students earlier last month, President John Magufuli said preliminary findings had shown that the majority of UDOM students who were admitted to pursue a special Diploma in Science (Education) did not possess required qualifications.
"This was in contrast with the recommendation by a don, Professor Kitila Mkumbo, that admission should not exceed 1,800 students," the president observed. Unfortunately, he said, the university's administration recruited more students, including those who attained Division Three and Four with a few ones among the Division One and Two achievers.

The president, who appeared to be irritated by the situation, told the gathering that the "university's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Idris Kikula, was dragged to allow the floated enrolment. According to Dr Magufuli, the decision compromised enrolment of students selected to join 10 teaching training colleges countrywide as the institutions found themselves in student shortage.
It was earlier announced by Professor Joyce Ndalichako that the decision to suspend the students followed the lecturers' boycott. While the decision by the government to send home students was described as appropriate under the circumstances, it was criticised by some opposition MPs.
Dr Magufuli announced explicitly that some of the expelled students were children of civil servants and government leaders, adding that fresh screening will be conducted to determine qualified students who will be admitted to other higher learning institutions.
"We have put on hold all higher education loans for UDOM pending thorough scrutiny of all the beneficiaries," he said, lauding Prof Ndalichako for her commitment in improving the quality of education in the country.

380 Students Recalled to UDOM 380 Students Recalled to UDOM Reviewed by on 11:35:00 PM Rating: 5

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