Government sets budget for tertiary students’ start-ups

07 Nov, 2022 - 00:11 0 Views
Government sets budget for  tertiary students’ start-ups Mr Tafadzwa Machisvo (centre) receives awards for being the overall best student in Secondary Science Teacher Education at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic in Gwanda last Thursday

The Chronicle

Sukulwenkosi Dube-MatutuMatabeleland South Bureau Chief

GOVERNMENT has called upon tertiary students to form start-ups that will be supported with budgeted funding starting next year as part of implementation of the heritage-based Education 5.0, which promotes industrialisation and modernisation.

Speaking during a tripartite graduation ceremony at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic in Gwanda last Thursday, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Innovation Science and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira, said the Government will fund the start-ups starting next year. 

The tripartite event comprised 40th graduation ceremony for the teacher education division, 16th edition of technical education and first the edition for the secondary science teacher education programme. 

Minister Professor Amon Murwira

A total of 1 816 students graduated from the division of teacher and technical education classes of 2019- 2022.

Of these 1 226 students graduated from the division of teacher education, 264 from teacher education intake 48 while 301 graduated from intake 13 Early Childhood Development.

Seventy graduands were drawn from intake 1 of the secondary science teacher training programme, which was introduced in 2018. The graduation ceremony was held under the theme: “Promoting industrialisation through skills training”.

Prof Murwira said the funding for start-ups will empower students to address challenges such as deficit of schools in country, which buttresses the recent amendment of the Manpower Planning and Development Act (Chapter 28:02).

“We now expect the products from our teachers’ colleges and polytechnics not only to be certificate and diploma holders but to also include start-ups,” he said. “For teachers we expect you to produce start-ups along the whole education value chain. We urge our graduates to form consortiums to start schools and industries that manufacture teaching aids including apparatus that are required in the school laboratories. We have a deficit of 4 000 schools, which can be addressed by building new schools.”

Prof Murwira said all disciplines are now mandated to form start-ups and revealed the ministry has already set a budget to support such projects. 

“We have budgeted to fund these start-ups come 2023. Administration of colleges are directed to help students form companies, which they will register and Government shall fund these start-ups. Let’s shake off the colonial mentality where after graduation from college you become an employment seeker,” he said.

The minister said 35 companies have been registered so far at Chinhoyi University and University of Zimbabwe as students were working towards creating own employment. 

Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic in Gwanda

He added that graduates that are being churned out of tertiary institutions across the country are enough to bring significant development to the country.

“As Zimbabweans we should dictate the pace and nurture of our development and not mimic what other countries are doing,” said the minister. 

“Let’s be guided by our own objectives and not what other countries are doing. In order to realise development each and every single person has a role to play. We are not birds that have to be fed but we can build our own country,” he said.

Prof Murwira said Zimbabwe seeks to ride on its high education competency and exploit available natural resources to transform its economy. He commended the graduation of the first intake of the secondary science teacher education as a significant milestone.

The JMN Polytechnic is one of the four primary school teacher training colleges identified to embark on a dual model of training both primary school teachers in general course and ECD programme as well as science and mathematics secondary school teachers.

Prof Murwira said this will help address the problem of shortage of science teachers within schools. He said Education 5.0 was liberating and giving students an opportunity to be directors of their own companies.

“The country has the richest mineral base in the world, it also has the best climate in the world and what is needed is to restore the confidence of our people. The confidence, which will bring development to our country. All the ingredients of success are readily available in our country,” said Prof Murwira.

As part of contribution to Vision 2030, he said the higher tertiary education sector must provide the necessary capabilities for modernisation, which are the means to improved human well-being.

JMN Polytechnic Principal, Dr Ngoni Moyo, said the theme of the graduation ceremony was anchored on the deliverables mission of teaching, research, community service, innovation and industrialisation.

“The hallmark of these provisions is centred on national development particularly in the context of innovation and industrialisation. Our role as the engine that ought to drive this industrialisation agenda through skills training can’t be overemphasised,” she said.

Vision 2030

“We have configured our curriculum to train and impart skills to students so that they are the vital cog in Zimbabwe’s innovation and industrialisation agenda.”

She said 15 917 graduates have been produced under the teacher education segment since 1981 and 3 514 under the technical education since inception in 2004.

Dr Ngoni said as part of efforts to foster agricultural, commercial, industrial, technological and scientific developments among other innovations, the college has a number of projects such as cattle pen fattening, horticulture, a clothing factory, two skills training centre and poultry projects.

The college also offers short courses in partnership with the Zimbabwe Health Intervention. These include painting, brick and block laying, automobile electrics and electronics, house wiring, welding and carpentry and joinery. — @DubeMatutu

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