Varsities urged to come up with home-grown solutions
Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
UNIVERSITIES in Africa have been challenged to come up with home grown solutions to challenges faced by institutions of higher learning.
Association of African Universities (AAU) in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (Zimche) held a workshop which ended last Friday in Victoria Falls.
The workshop was part of intensive short courses for university lecturers to harmonise teaching methods so that academics can grasp skills needed to produce marketable graduates at a time when most universities in Africa are said to be producing half-baked graduates.
Presenting resolutions from the workshop, Zimche Principal Director for Academic and Institutions Audits Dr Hilton Chikuya said the workshop had equipped lecturers with the required teaching skills.
“This was a refreshing course for those who already have some education courses and inspiring to those who have not done some education courses. It guides us to build the Zimbabwe Higher Education system we want and ultimately the Africa we want,” he said.
Dr Chikuya challenged universities to implement methods and approaches learnt at the workshop in order to produce graduates that have the requisite skills.
“It’s important and critical for all of us to go back to our institutions and share the knowledge gained from this workshop with colleagues. It is my hope and desire to have ideas learnt here implemented by our institutions,” he said.
Locally, Dr Chikuya said Zimche had mandated all universities and degree offering institutions to have quality assurance offices.
AAU’s Quality Assurance Specialist and project officer for Harmonisation of African Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation (HAQAA) Initiative Dr Violet Makuku said the continental body was concerned about the quality of university graduates.
She said industry had complained about half-baked graduates hence the need for a hamornised curriculum at continental level.
AAU, headquartered in Ghana, is the implementing arm of the African Union Commission’s education sector, with a mandate to improve quality of tertiary education.