Home » Governance » Cabinet to Discuss Hexco Report

A report on the probe into operations of the Higher Education Examinations Council will next week be tabled in Cabinet. The report noted that the person running the examination database is not qualified for the job and that the entire database is housed on flash drives and has no back-up.Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Dr Olivia Muchena, who ordered the probe, said the report could be presented to Parliament if Cabinet adopts it.

The probe confirmed, as reported by The Herald, that Mr Francis Taivavashe — appointed to set up and manage the database by the then acting director for standards development and quality assurance Mr Joyce Mbudzi and with authority from Higher Education Secretary Dr Washington Mbizvo — had no IT qualification as required.

It also said some Hexco board members were clueless on their responsibilities. Dr Muchena said it was premature for her to comment on the report.

“We don’t know who leaked the report, but we have to take it to Cabinet first before we table it before Parliament. Before we do that, I cannot comment on its contents.”

Dr Muchena said this on the sidelines of a workshop attended by senior Government and university officials to review legal statutes governing institutions of higher learning.

Her deputy Dr Godfrey Gandawa, who led the Hexco probe, added: “I am not comfortable to discuss our findings before we present them to Cabinet.”

The Herald reported in February that Dr Mbizvo approved the appointment of Mr Taivavashe, an automotive precision machinist, to oversee the exams database yet the job requires an IT expert.

Mr Taivavashe designed, installed, operationalised and individually managed the database of all testing of tertiary students in the country. It is unclear who actually owns the system he set up.

Because no one supervised him, he could do as he pleased with the database.

On reviewing of legal statutes governing universities, Dr Muchena said all institutions should adopt a business approach to their operations.

“We have observed duplication of duties and neglect of areas, she said. We have deliberated on that and one of their suggestions is that universities should look at the Act of Parliament that governs their operations. We want to run universities with a business approach.”

Dr Gandawa said universities should respond to industry’s demands.

“A person who graduates today might not be equipped with what the industry needs. There is that skills gap between universities and industry,” he said.

Source : The Herald