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Architects want dept probed

Tendai Mukandi

THE quality of education at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) came under the spotlight from practising architects following revelations of mismanagement and corrupt activities at the institution’s Faculty of Architecture.

A July 21 letter to the university’s Vice-Chancellor Lindela Ndlovu and the faculty dean of Professional Design Studio (PDS), highlighted six major concerns that authorities at Nust needed to address without delay.

PDS is a company of registered architects, interior designers, project managers and planning consultants based in Bulawayo.

Their first major concern was the changing of results after an examination deadline in three courses, namely AAR6061, AAR6102 and AAR 6202.

PDS questioned the professionalism of placing a deadline for examination material to be handed in when other students “are given the opportunity of improving their work after the final presentation”.

“What was the point of the open critic or presentation when the final marks are to be based on an arbitrary system or decision?” the organisation said.

“The approved results of AAR6061, AAR6102 and AAR6202 are disputed/distorted and of professional/public concern. These results if published as approved, would cause a public concern. The university needs to investigate before they are published.”

PDS, in the same letter, questioned the recruitment of staff in the faculty. The company  alleged that  the faculty was recruiting staff who possessed a Bachelor of Architecture degree with less than five years of experience as lecturers. This is despite internationally-accepted practice that the minimum requirement is a Masters in Architecture degree before being appointed junior lecturers.

The letter alleges that students were being asked to raise hands as a process of determining those to graduate.

When contacted, Peter Sibanda, an architect with PDS, said the matter had since been clarified. “The issue was resolved two weeks ago and all the issues were explained. It was just one of the internal problems like a bedroom issue.”

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