Walter Mswazie, Masvingo Correspondent
THE Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development is working on a bill which seeks to transform the country’s education system into an engine that will drive industrial growth, a senior Government official has said.
Addressing 556 primary school teachers who graduated with diplomas in early childhood and general education at Morgenster Teachers’ College yesterday Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Professor Francis Gudyanga said there are skills gaps in our education system which need to be addressed.
He hailed the college for churning out Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates.
“We in the Ministry are working on the Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development Bill that will profoundly transform the higher and tertiary, science and technology system in the country towards achieving a national aspiration to build a modern and industrialised State in the short and medium term.
“There is empirical evidence round the globe that science and technology embedded in higher and tertiary education is the driving engine for industrial transformation,” said Prof Gudyanga.
He said the country cannot afford to ignore information acquired from other industrialised nations.
“As a country, we would be unwise to ignore the lessons learned in countries that recently industrialised through embracing science and technology. As a generation we would be irresponsible not to grasp whatever it takes to make lives of future generations better,” he said.
He said about 2 500 teachers are being re-trained at universities and polytechnics to fill skills gaps in the education system.
He said plans for training more teachers are being worked out.
“These are remedial actions to rectify skills gaps in our education system. In order to permanently address the situation, the situation can be fixed at our teachers’ colleges. This is a matter that looms larger in the Bill that our Ministry is working on,” he added.
He said the teachers’ colleges will be transformed and afforded the opportunity to train up to undergraduate degrees in STEM programmes so that their products will in turn be able to teach pupils for the world of tomorrow.
Prof Gudyanga challenged teachers to be innovative, adaptive and self-driven.
He urged newly trained teachers to make use of the soon to be launched District Innovation Start-Ups Hubs (DISH). The facility will be launched in 2018 in all 65 districts throughout the country starting January.
Spearheaded by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development the concept seeks to create focused mindsets and provide learning sessions with industry players with the graduates.
In attendance at the graduation event were Morgenster Teachers’ College principal Mrs Raviro Chipato, Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ) moderator Rev Dr Rangarirai Rutoro, Dr Osewel Hapanyengwi a representative of University of Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor and College Chaplin Mr Samson Shava, among others. — @walterbmswazie3