African College of Theology and Management (ACTM) Dowa campus has been closed by Technical Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education Authority (TEVETA) and the students were on Sunday moved to newly opened Balaka campus.
According to Lewis Msasa, who is Information, Education and Communication specialist at TEVETA, the college has been closed because they did not meet the minimum standards set by the body.
“The place was not conducive enough for learning in terms of sanitation which was very bad. We visited them last year November and we noted these problems.
“We told the management to rectify these anomalies but before they did that they opened the school without informing us. When we went back this year we found out that the sanitation problems had even deteriorated that’s why we had to close it by all means, “explained Msasa.
It is also believed that the new campus in Balaka is also not yet approved and Msasa explained that their team is in the field to scrutinize the institution.
“We have people in the field doing the inspections and they will visit the Balaka campus to see if it’s a good learning environment and we will see after that.
“We look at a number of factors before registering a college. We look at quality of teaching staff and syllabus and the management structures of the school just to mention few. Our role is to make sure that any education institution complies with our minimum standards. We do not want to see people being cheated and duped unnecessary,” explained Msasa.
The Balaka campus has no centre for International examination boards like ABMA and TAC and they write their exams under Skyway Institute of Management, Research and Development (SIMARD) Lilongwe campus as externals.
Sources say SIMARD refused to release examination results for Public Health students who wrote last year June series because ACTM management failed to pay centre fee balance.
“The relationship between our school and SIMARD became sour so when some of the students who wrote last year’s Public Health examination in June went to get diplomas at SIMARD. There they were told to pay an amount of K11, 000. This prompted one of the students Benson Tsambewe to write on Facebook wall,” one of the students who did not want to be named told Nyasa Times.
Sources also disclosed that there was drama soon after TEVETA left the premises as the staff members fought over office equipment for what they called as compensation to their un paid three months salaries.
Two groups emerged, with one siding with management and others standing against moving to Balaka without being assured of their salaries.
Not all things were taken from offices so the Director of the school Samuel Machirika popularly known as Kajoza among students and staff members sneaked in around 12 mid night with a car to collect the remaining stuff like furniture and stationary to move to Balaka premises.
When asked to comment, Sean Chaphinja who is the Examination Officer at the school refused to comment saying he was busy at Balaka campus and referred the matter to Kajoza.
When called on his mobile number, Kajoza said that the school was moved to Balaka because of encroachment problems.
“Yes it’s true we are moving the college to Balaka because we were lending premises from Dowa assembly and they just informed us that the place had been sold to people who want to develop it so there was an element of encroachment. In fact we are not really leaving Dowa but we just want to promote Balaka campus and about the people who were fighting over office materials are just the supporting staff who did not understand what was happening,” he said.
On SIMARD’s resistance to give them the June Public Health examination results, Kajoza said: “I think there was also an element of competition. Our existence was becoming a threat to Skyway so they were just trying to frustrate us.”
It is also believed that there is no theological course at the school despite being named African College of Theology and Management.
According to their intake adverts of 2010 in news papers, the background information explained that the college belongs to Pentecostal Assemblies of God which also raises questions if it really exits.
Some of the students who attended one of the entry examinations in 2010 at HHI hall said that they were told that the school would offer degrees in Law, Journalism and Theology but were disappointed to find out that no degrees were offered at the college.
The school has been closed twice since 2009 and it has a history of using student’s examination fee on other to develop the school situation that sees most students failing to acquire diplomas.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :