Accreditation Bungle Leaves Durban TVET Students Out In The Cold

King Sabata Dalindyebo TVET College students attending the Post State of the Nation Address (SoNA) Information Seminar with Deputy Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. (Photo: GCIS)

Students at Thekwini City College are reeling with anger following after discovering that the Tvet college’s accreditation for the N1 to N3 engineering programme has expired. Sinenhlanhla Mthethwa who is also enrolled at the college told the Daily Vox about her frustration.

In January I registered at Thekwini City (TVET) College for the Chemical Engineering Course.
Initially my peers and I had called the Department of Higher Education and Training to find out if the school was registered or not because a rumour was making rounds that it wasn’t registered. We found out that it was registered so we paid our fees and carried on with the trimester. 

In April we wrote our exams. While we were on holidays for April we awaited our results from home as most students do, but we were under the impression we would receive the results during the holidays to indicate whether we move to the next level or not; however that didn’t happen.

We later opened in early May and around mid May we then received results but what was puzzling was that they were incomplete, some were “pending” some were “absent” yet we had sat for the exam and they were not official results from DHET. We were given the excuse that the Department hasn’t released all the results so we must wait another week for them to arrive, and thereafter we would receive statements from DHET.

That week came and passed, and so did the next. The next thing we knew we were in June without full results and we were told to carry on the following level without knowledge of whether we passed or failed our modules.

By this time the school’s management put out a notice that students who have not paid for the current trimester should not be allowed to continue to attend lectures. And that was the uproar of it all.
Personally my parents were not going to pay for the next trimester without receiving full official results from the department for the previous trimester. 
It is then when we started to question all the red flags we saw along the way but didn’t pay attention to.

We wrote our exams under a different centre number of another college, not of ours. We wrote at Gateway City College. The reason given by management was that there was an issue of space, hence we had to write from the other campus. Something we all understood because our campus was a bit small to accommodate all examinations at the same time.

The time when we asked for the registration of the college we did not take into consideration the accreditation of it. I was under the impression that it was more or less the same thing. Only to find that the college’s accreditation expired in December 2017 and they were now not in possession of an accreditation certificate.

I emailed the senior accreditations officer at uMalusi who then confirmed that Thekwini City College was not accredited to offer Engineering Studies from N1- N3. The school despite this still maintains that they are in fact accredited by Umalusi regardless of our findings. I am pleading with everyone who can help us with this situation, our dreams are at stake.

The Daily Vox contacted uMalusi and it was confirmed that Thekwini City College is currently not accredited to offer N1 to N3 Engineering in its Durban site. A lady who identified herself as the principal of the college but refused to give us her name, denied the allegations of the results being unavailable. “The results are available but there were some delays from the department of higher education and training,” she said. When asked about the institution’s accreditation, she said she can’t comment and referred us to the department.

Featured image via GCIS