Varsities to cut enrolment of arts students
Nqobile Tshili Chronicle Correspondent
THE government has said universities will soon be ordered to reduce enrolments in social sciences and commercials to curb unemployment levels.
Responding to a question by Zanu-PF Mashonaland West senator in the Upper House on Thursday, the Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Cde Godfrey Gandawa said this will reduce unemployment levels that have reached unprecedented levels.
Cde Damian Mumvuri had asked Cde Gandawa whether it was now government’s policy that students without Mathematics should not be enrolled in universities.
Cde Gandawa said social sciences and commercials were the ones increasing unemployment in the country.
“We are actually going further. We are going to direct our universities to reduce the enrolment in terms of social sciences and humanities and increase our sciences, engineering and Mathematics,” said Cde Gandawa.
“You will realise that we’ve a problem of unemployment. The unemployment is actually emanating from us allowing more students to enrol in commercials and humanities because they do not have Science and Mathematics.”
He said institutions of higher learning should instead increase enrolment in science subjects to promote development.
“Research and development should be hinged on science and technology. It’s in the best interest of the country to make sure that we develop science and technology from the lower levels of education even starting from kindergarten,” he said.
The deputy minister said science graduates will drive the economy.
“As a government, we’re saying that these subjects that drive the economy and shape the future of a student must be compulsory. You must have Science and Mathematics.
“However, to those who are not academically gifted, we’re saying after completion of the degree, you don’t have employment.
“Many of our graduates in Sciences and Mathematics are on demand everywhere, be it in the country or regional,” Cde Gandawa said.
He said it was pointless for the government to be promoting other courses while sciences were suffering.
“If you have a graduate student today, we do not have more teachers, for example in Matabeleland North, we’ve a couple of Physics, Chemistry and Science teachers.
“Why then should we promote subjects or courses that will give us unemployment rather than promoting the sciences so that our children get employment after graduation?” he said.