This comes amid reports that tertiary institutions were struggling to get students due to lack of mathematics and sciences, a situation educationists have described as a “sad story”.
Speaking at a combined Matabeleland South provincial commemoration of the World Environment Day and World Day for Desertification at Solusi Adventist High School in Bulilima District on Friday, the acting principal of JM Nkomo Polytechnic, Dr Ngoni Mhule Moyo, said the college was not operating at full throttle because of a low uptake of courses.
The JM Nkomo Polytechnic doubles up as a polytechnic college and teachers’ college and is also set to house the Gwanda State University soon.
Dr Moyo, who was the guest of honour at the event, challenged youths in the Matabeleland region to take education seriously and enrol for tertiary education so that they are empowered.
Although not giving statistics, Dr Moyo said many children in Matabeleland were failing to qualify for tertiary education because of lack of mathematics and science subjects and her college had embarked on a “vigorous marketing exercise”.
“The situation in colleges is a sad story. Here is a college in their midst in Matabeleland South but you find very few children qualifying because they do not have mathematics and sciences which are core to teachers’ courses,” said Dr Moyo.
“I have been telling lecturers to go out in communities to apprise children about the importance of education. We usually do this wherever we go as a college to raise awareness to our children.
“Our colleges have an open-door policy for everyone who qualifies for enrolment but our children do not meet the requirements and as a result we are struggling to get students. Something is wrong but we as educationists, know the truth about why our children are no longer passing mathematics.”
Dr Moyo said the success of the region in terms of education lay on educationists taking the initiative to raise awareness around communities for children to take education seriously.
This comes at a time when many youths from the region, especially Matabeleland South, reportedly leave school, some even dropping out before completing Ordinary Level and go either to South Africa or Botswana to look for employment.
“I want children and parents to emulate educationists in their areas and utilise the colleges that we have. Days of the diaspora are over and parents should start encouraging children to go to school and get empowered,” said Dr Moyo.
“To the girl child, here is Dr Moyo, a rural bred success story, which they should take as a role model. I want to urge girls in the region and particularly in my district Bulilima, that education is empowerment. Girls should know that their place is no longer in the kitchen, they must refuse to take that status because a woman can no longer remain at home while others get empowered.”