By Albert Nxumalo
A voluntary non-profit association of activists based in Matabeleland, Team 2020, which is assisting prospective student nurses from rural communities with the online application process is appealing for internet access to rural young people who often get structurally excluded.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care is expected to open Diploma in General Nursing e-recruitment application process from Monday, June 15 to July 4 for the September intake.
According to Team 2020 chief volunteer Discent Collins Bajila, in the past two intakes (January and May) they have assisted 55 young people mainly from marginalised areas to secure places.
Bajila said their aim is to secure 100 places by year end and to achieve that, internet access was key.
“Team 2020 encourages young people from poor and marginalised communities to take up this opportunity and apply in large numbers.
“We also appeal to members of the public to help us provide internet access to rural young people who often get structurally excluded from these online application processes,” said Bajila.
He said it was possible for youth from marginalised communities to secure places “without paying a bribe”.
“For the January 2020 Intake, together we got 25 young people from poor marginalised backgrounds admitted at various Nursing Schools across the country.
“For the May 2020 Intake, we got another 30 young people admitted. That gives us a total of 55 lives changed, 55 young people who have evidence that it is possible to build a better future without paying a bribe, 55 young people who understand that in this world it is still possible to get genuine help from people whom you might never see or know”.
In 2019, Government introduced an electronic recruiting policy for aspiring nurses, starting with the September intake in a bid to ensure accountability and clamp down on corruption.
Applicants will download forms from a website and fill in before they resend for consideration.
Interviews will then be done by a panel of experts before successful candidates are advised through their e-mails.
The association called on the Health ministry “to allow individual nursing schools to run their own application portals in the same manner that Universities run theirs independently.
“Furthermore, we call upon MOHCC to develop internal capacity for website management in order to eliminate time delays incurred while consulting with the contractors at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT). These issues are in line with the provisions of administrative justice and devolution of power enshrined in sections 68 and 264 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe”.
During the past intakes, the ministry was forced to extended the nurse e-recruitment deadline due to technical difficulties and their payment portal was often down.
Team 2020 also appealed to the ministry and Zimbabwe AntiCorruption Commission (ZACC) to carry out investigations on allegations of corruption “that was unearthed in March 2020 implicating nurses and doctors who were offering to temper with the shortlisting process on behalf of those willing to pay a bribe. Evidence of this was gathered by Team 2020 and formally submitted to ZACC”.