HUNDREDS of tertiary students have reportedly dropped out of colleges after failing to register for examinations following an order by government to stop admitting those without Mathematics at Ordinary Level.

A circular from the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry and addressed to all examination centres and the Higher Education Examination Council (Hexco) directed that students without Mathematics should not be allowed to register for examinations.

“Those who were supposed to register are staying at home. It is shattering because some of the students are now home because of this requirement that came recently,” said a college lecturer who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo.

At Harare Polytechnic, for example, students who fell victim to the directive said they had applied and enrolled without Mathematics as it was not a requirement, but were to be told that they could not register if they had not passed the subject.

“We enrolled for journalism last year and Mathematics was not a requirement then. In September (after starting in January) we were told that without Maths, we should not come next year for our National Diploma. It came as a shock and as a result, about 50 students from our class dropped out,” one student said.

Efforts to get a comment from Hexco or the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education were fruitless. But Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo was recently quoted by a local radio station as saying students without Maths can register at technical colleges for certificates only, and could not proceed to diploma level without the subject.