By Abigail Mawonde
Polytechnics are in dire need of funding, as some of their equipment is now obsolete.
This was said by Harare Polytechnic principal Engineer Tafadzwa Mudondo in an interview recently on the sidelines of a graduation ceremony at the institution.
He bemoaned lack of funding at such colleges, saying it was affecting the learning process.
“Polytechnics have been greatly neglected in terms of funding because as it is, we are actually operating on our own in terms of most of the funding,” said Eng Mudondo.
“What is fundamental to take note of is that the equipment we are currently using some of it dates back to the Second World War and as a result it is more like de-learning when you put students through a piece of equipment which is very old and is no longer found in any industry.”
Eng Mudondo said there was need for retooling of polytechnic colleges.
“So, it is important that we get proper equipment, proper retooling and we get proper machinery equivalent to the prevailing market,” he said.
“That is why I was talking of the need for leapfrogging to do away with certain type of equipment which is no longer of use and buy new equipment and be able to initiate new industry, new skills and new development,” he said.
Eng Mudondo said there was need to invest in polytechnics since they were the bedrock of national development.
“Polytechnic education is the bedrock of national development in terms of skills and expertise, but a myriad of challenges that confront Harare Polytechnic and I believe obtaining in other polytechnics include poor funding, inadequate infrastructure, poor or obsolete equipment and machinery in some disciplines, inadequate manpower, poor teaching and learning conditions and poor lectures’ salaries,” he said.
“It is difficult to live up to our full mandate and purpose of establishment in the midst of neglect, stigmatisation, under funding and inhibiting environment.
“The issue of inadequacies and deficiencies need to be addressed to enable lecturers to concentrate, deposit and dispense their full potential in discharging their mandate of teaching, learning, research and training.”