A report in The Chronicle recounts a startling issue of lost cadetship application forms submitted by students at Lupane State University. The spokesperson for the university said they either got lost or misplaced at their Harare offices. I find it weird for an academic office to lose a bunch of 121 three or four paged forms. Before the students are asked to re-submit these forms investigations should be done to ascertain what happened to the forms they had submitted. I have always questioned the way universities handle the cadetship application process and reading this article brought back my dark cloud over this programme. For me there was always a lack of transparency. Being an orphan I thought I made it to top ‘A’ list of those credible but alas my application was turned down.
That then programmed my mind to feel that some local universities are structuring themselves to be ‘money making’ businesses thus having fewer students on cadetship will prove more viable for their business. They would rather do away with having to wait for the government to give them the disbursements for fees for students on cadetship and have students pay their full fees directly to them. University authorities find it much easier to chase away students who haven’t paid their fees in full at the exam entrance door than to drag the government to pay its cadetship dues to them on time. Thus on the universities’ end they are never keen to get more of their students on cadetship. On the other hand you cannot blame them since the government has failed to fulfill its mandate on the cadetship programme. But then if the government lets down universities and they in turn ‘punish’ students on cadetship what is being achieved at the end of the day? Every stakeholder involved in the cadetship programme should play his or her part because if this vicious circle continues we are killing the future of the nation.