Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday conferred degrees and certificates to 958 graduates at the Lupane State University’s (LSU) 10th graduation ceremony in Lupane, Matabeleland North.
The graduates, 56 percent of whom were females, were drawn from the faculties of Commerce, Agricultural Sciences and Humanities and Social Sciences.
In his keynote address, LSU Vice Chancellor Professor Pardon Kuipa said the university will continue to strive to align itself with the Government’s national thrust of industrialising and modernising the country through innovation at higher and tertiary institutions.
He said LSU will align itself also with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, industry 4.0 as pursued by industrialists.
“The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development has redesigned the Higher and Tertiary Education System in Zimbabwe by introducing the Education 5.0 framework which places requirement on institutions to innovate and create new products, services, and enterprises. LSU intends to actualise Education 5.0 by supporting enterprises through applied research and creation of research and learning environments for continuous piloting of new technologies, social enterprises and preparation of new business models based on industry 4.0,” he said.
Prof Kuipa said the relocation of LSU from Bulawayo to its main campus has given life to the formerly sleepy Matabeleland North provincial capital, Lupane.
He said the university will continue to partner the private sector under the public private partnerships for the development of the university’s infrastructure.
“We believe that through these partnerships the university will be able to actualise its Campus Development Master Plan. This academic year the university has used long term loan to finance the construction of a Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences teaching and learning block and works have commenced. In the meantime, we have put up pre-fabricated structures in order to alleviate teaching and learning shortages,” he said.
Prof Kuipa challenged LSU’s 2019 graduating class to come up with solutions to solve challenges affecting the nation.
“Please create employment for those who were less fortunate than you and could not attend university. Use your knowledge and skills to solve societal and community problems. I challenge you to be of service to your communities,” he said.
Prof Kuipa appealed to Government to continue improving conditions of service for its employees through the awarding of various cushioning allowances and salary increments.
He said the university requires an enabling environment for academics to flourish in their works.
Among the graduates were Sunday News news editor Gabriel Masvora and the publication’s senior sports reporter Mehluli Sibanda. — @nqotshili