Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government has been commended for embarking on a process to overhaul curriculum for higher and tertiary education institutions to make them applicable to the nation’s thrust towards industrialisation and employment creation.
In separate interviews, players in industry, commerce and academics welcomed the re-orientation of the education system, saying it was a positive step towards reviving the country’s economy.
The move to change the curriculum is in line with opportunities brought about by the Transitional Stabilisation Programme.
During Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira, who is also chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Human Capital Development, Skills Audit and Employment Creation, submitted a report outlining the programmes.
Economist Mr Eddie Cross said Zimbabwe should emulate the Germany model, which emphasises on personal skills building.
“That was a very important statement (that Government made) and the direction we should be following as a country,” said Mr Cross.
He said Germany showed the way for a sound foundation for building the economy by promoting human expertise and skills building.
“Thirty percent of its students graduate with academic qualifications, while 70 percent graduate with technical expertise,” said Mr Cross. “Today, Germany is one of the biggest exporters in the world.”
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Henry Ruzvidzo said while they were still to engage the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development on the modalities of implementation of the plan, the state of affairs was unhealthy for industry.
“The increase of universities over technical colleges is of concern,” he said. “We have been seeing establishment of more and more universities and even some technical colleges were now offering degree programmes, which is a recipe for disaster because it suffocates labour for industry.”
Harare Polytechnic principal Mr Tafadzwa Mudondo said technical colleges had always been on the forefront in promoting technical skills.
He said what has been lacking was retooling and re-equipping the institutions to effectively discharge their mandate.
Mr Mudondo said in line with Government’s latest thrust and to further strengthen its mandate, Harare Polytechnic was at advanced stages of establishing an industrial hub in partnership with Chinese institutions.
He said earmarked areas are electrical and mechanical engineering.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told a post-Cabinet Press briefing that Professor Murwira’s presentation outlined programmes covering the period 2019-2030.
“Cabinet considered a submission by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Human Capital Development, Skills Audit and Employment Creation on key priority programmes to be undertaken during the period 2019-2030,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Government would engage investors to develop infrastructure at institutions of higher learning.
“The programmes also aim to develop state-of-the-art infrastructure for schools, vocational training centres, higher and tertiary education institutions, through the engagement of investors; to increase the number of youths who will graduate as artisans, technicians, teachers and other professionals with technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills for decent work and sustainable self-employment; to attract foreign students to study in Zimbabwe; to solve the perennial and recurrent shortage of ICT skilled human capital and provide home-grown ICT solutions,” she said.
Source : The Herald