THE country’s universities and colleges are now leading the country’s industrialisation programme and this is attributed to the Government’s decision to adopt Education 5.0.
The institutions of higher learning are not only churning out graduates that meet societal demands but are also establishing innovation hubs and constructing industrial parks.
The National University of Science and Technology (Nust) is driving Bulawayo’s re-industrialisation as it is not just producing graduates that meet the needs of industry but is also involved in the establishment of new manufacturing factories.
The university now has a factory that manufactures plastic containers, a honey processing factory and another that processes fruits.
Nust is also leading the establishment of Bulawayo Technology Centre which is a tripartite arrangement which involves Nust, Bulawayo Polytechnic and Government.
Nust’s Pro-Vice Chancellor, Innovation and Business Development Dr William Goriwondo said the establishment of the Bulawayo Technology Centre will benefit local industry.
He said local industry will use the centre to improve the quality of their products. Many universities and colleges have established similar factories as they respond to the country’s industrialisation and modernisation agenda.
The Midlands State University (MSU) has established a textile factory at its Industrial complex in Gweru, a product of the Government’s programme of establishing innovation hubs and industrial parks at universities and colleges. Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the universities and colleges demonstrated that they are now producing a new breed of graduates that is relevant to industry.
The institutions of higher learning produced sanitisers, Covid-19 testing swabs and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face masks.
The country benefited immensely from the universities and colleges’ positive response to the outbreak as it managed to drastically reduce its import bill for Covid-19 consumables.
Government has urged industry and commerce to support and embrace the solutions, innovations and inventions from the universities and colleges’ innovation hubs and industrial parks.
Industry has over the years been complaining that universities and colleges were not producing relevant graduates and we want to commend Government for positively responding by adopting Education 5.0. The graduates from our universities and colleges have now taken the lead in reviving our industries and this is as it should be.