‘Africa a victim of Western brainwashing’ Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Professor Amon Murwira presents a certificate and shield to Student of the Year Rumbidzai Nondo at the Hillside Teachers’ College graduation ceremony in Bulawayo yesterday.

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, [email protected] 

HIGHER   and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira has said despite being rich in terms of human capital, Africa for too long, has been a victim of psychological brainwashing by Western countries that stifled its development and intellectual growth.

Speaking during the 65th Hillside Teachers’ College graduation ceremony in Bulawayo yesterday, Prof Murwira said the time has come for Africa to rise to the occasion and shame its detractors who have been pushing a false narrative purporting that the continent is underdeveloped intellectually.

The ceremony was held under the theme, “Transformative teacher education for accelerated innovation and industrialisation,” which is in sync with the expected outcomes of Heritage Based Education 5.0, a key driver towards Vision 2030. 

Heritage-based Education has five components, namely teaching, research, community service, innovation and industrialisation. This is meant to move the nation forward towards an innovation-led and knowledge-based economy. 

The activities are guided by priority programmes on innovation, science and technology development; and human capital development that produces goods and services.

“After 600 years you have constantly been told that  you  lack something and you end up imagining that indeed you lack something and that you are a problem. Africa lacks nothing, it was just attacked psychologically and it’s time to undo that harm,” said Prof Murwira.

 He said President Mnangagwa had transformed the trajectory of Zimbabwe’s education from an education of literacy to an education of literacy and action.

Prof Murwira said the thrust of the Second Republic is to deliver Heritage Based Education 5.0 that focuses on developing graduates with the right knowledge, skills and attitudes and creating leaders who will take the nation to the highest level of development.

He said Government will also provide the necessary legal and financial support to enable the graduates to develop businesses and in the process create employment for themselves and others.

“The Second Republic is determined to make Zimbabwe a startup nation. Industries and businesses do not fall from the sky, they are created by people, particularly graduates,” said Prof Murwira.

“In our new thrust on education, we are focusing on producing the capabilities for catapulting Zimbabwe to an upper middle-income economy by the year 2030. Zimbabwe shall be built by doers and not by people who just talk and do nothing.”

Prof Murwira implored graduates to desist from the colonial mentality of relying on employment.

“We would like to see graduates being helped to form startup companies, let us get rid of the colonial mentality where we were designed to work for someone else,” said Prof Murwira.

He said the Second Republic has provided an opportunity for university and college graduates to start new industries and companies through the Graduate Employment Creation and Development Programme. 

Through the programme, graduates form start-up companies that include private schools. 

“Government will then provide the necessary financial support, a set-up that resonates well with the mantra ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo/nyika inovakwa nevene vayo,” said Prof Murwira.

The country has already started to reap the benefits of Heritage-Based Education 5.0 with innovations established by State Universities helping the country to save US$12 million in imports. 

Innovation Hub infrastructure has been successfully constructed at five State Universities. Under the programme a modern bus terminus was constructed at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), the construction of the Simon Mazorodze Medical School was completed as well as the construction and equipping of the Midlands State University National Pathology Research and Diagnostics Centre. 

Under the number plates production programme, a number plate manufacturing plant called TransTech Solutions was established at the UZ thereby internalising the production of number plates. 

Hillside Teachers’ College has already embraced the Heritage-Based Education 5.0 model with former students forming a consortium to establish a school which has since commenced classes with two form-one classes with an  enrolment of 56 learners. 

Lessons for the learners are being conducted at the college’s premises in Bulawayo. The college has since acquired 24 hectares of land in Matobo District to construct the secondary boarding school.

Hillside Teachers’ College’s move is part of a broader deliberate Government programme of having universities and colleges opening up their own schools to help ease pressure on existing schools. 

A total of 299 students graduated with diplomas in education yesterday. Of the total number of 225 were females.

Hillside  College  was established in 1956 at Heany Junction and moved to its present site in 1962. At its inception, the college trained teachers for both primary and secondary school but is now training secondary school teachers only.

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