THE Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira, has said the new curriculum for higher and tertiary education is meant to develop skills among students which is key in promoting industrialisation, that will spur the country to attain its 2030 vision.
Speaking at the Joshua Mqabuko Polytechnic graduation ceremony in Gwanda last week, Professor Murwira said the nation’s level of productive skills was at 38 percent, a sign that the previous curriculum was not effective.
“The education design we have followed until recently has been premised more on literacy than productive skills. We have succeeded in raising literacy levels to over 94 percent today but productive skill levels are at 38 percent. The traditional education design has been focused in teaching, research and community service but we are rectifying this by using the Education 5.0 design where innovation and industrialisation are the fourth and fifth missions in the design.
“We have identified Education 5.0 as the means to get us to the top and be competitive. It will take us to the Zimbabwe and Africa we want. Our education design has to fulfil national aspirations and the student’s aspirations. The fulfilment of national aspirations through student centred aspirations is the most powerful engine that we can employ for Zimbabwe’s development through its education system,” he said.
Prof Murwira said if a proper education design is used there would be no need for the country to import most of its products as it would become productive or for graduates to seek employment as they would be job creators.
He said under the new curriculum graduates will acquire the right skills that would incorporate university education and technical and vocational education. Prof Murwira said students would also be trained on how to use heritage and natural resources in order to fully exploit the country’s competitive advantage on the globe.
“His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa enunciated our vision 2030 which predicts an upper middle-income economy by 2030. It is our task as a ministry to provide the nation with the necessary capability to achieve this vision. This capability can only come from a correct education design hence our reason for developing and adopting Education 5.0.
“Our formula for economic prosperity is knowledge and skills that result in modernisation and industrialisation. Jobs are born from industry which is developed through skills,” he said.
Prof Murwira urged graduates to form consortiums and companies so they could benefit from the Graduate Employment and Entrepreneurship Programme (GEEP) which will see applicants getting loans.
Prof Murwira commended Joshua Mqabuko Polytechnic for its distinct programmes.
He also applauded the institution for introducing indigenous languages and urged the authorities to give emphasis on these languages as they were critical in the heritage-based education. He urged the graduates to apply the knowledge and skills they had acquired to solve challenges that affect society.
Also speaking at the graduation ceremony Joshua Mqabuko Polytechnic Principal, Dr Ngoni Moyo said since its inauguration as Gwanda Zintec in 1981 the teacher education division had churned out a total of 14 655 graduates. She said for five consecutive presentations the institution had maintained a pass rate of between 95 and 100 percent for both general and ECD courses.
Dr Moyo said in line with the new curriculum the institution was putting more emphasis on practical subjects.
A total of 884 students from intake 47 — class of 2016 graduated from the institution. A total of 614 graduated in Early Childhood Development and General Course while 270 in Hexco programmes.