PRESIDENT Mugabe is deeply committed to the advancement of education and he believes it is the foundation for skills development, economic growth and employment creation, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
Speaking at the 11th Zimbabwe International Research Symposium in Harare last week, VP Mnangagwa described President Mugabe’s commitment to the advancement of education as legendary.
He said this year’s research symposium theme resonated with the Zim Asset economic blueprint, which identifies small-scale industries and research as engines for economic growth through value addition and beneficiation.
“(President Mugabe) is a true visionary who believes in an education that equips learners with the requisite knowledge and skills that guarantees economic growth,” VP Mnangagwa said.
“Following the country’s Independence, he introduced the Education For All policy, which ushered in a massive expansion in pupil enrolment and the expansion of teacher education facilities through programmes like (Morgan) Zintec among others.”
President Mugabe’s commitment to education saw a huge increase in adult literacy and improved the quality of educational standards, he added.
VP Mnangagwa said improved access to tertiary education helped create the requisite foundation for research.
“The tried and tested wisdom of President Mugabe has ensured that the country has developed a comprehensive agricultural revolution from research into seed varieties, new cropping methods, post harvesting techniques and improved livestock breeds,” he said.
“As we forge ahead with our research endeavours, we must never lose sight of the fact that the interventions introduced by President Mugabe are aimed at cultivating critical thinking, problem solving, good communication skills, problem solving technology which cultivates innovation and research which are ingredients for value addition and industrialisation.”
At the same occasion, VP Phelekezela Mphoko said the research symposium was critical for Zimbabwe’s development.
He described President Mugabe as an academic par excellence and revolutionary icon who was synonymous with innovation and problem-solving.
VP Mphoko also said Government was grateful to the Indian government for its support for Zimbabwe’s research sector and small-scale businesses.
“The partnerships which have been created should grow and bear more research and innovation fruits that will move the country forward,” he said.
The research symposium is the brainchild of President Mugabe, who established the Scientific Liaison Office in his capacity as Prime Minister soon after Independence in 1980; after which he established the Research Council of Zimbabwe in 1984.
In 2002, President Mugabe approved the first Science, Technology and Innovation Policy.
President Mugabe officially opened the research symposium, which was attended by his two VPs, several Government ministers, researchers, students and industrialists, among others.