BY FARAI MATIASHE/VANESSA GONYE
Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira has challenged universities to produce graduates who analyse and create goods and services for socio-economic growth.
Officiating at a University of Zimbabwe strategic planning and consultative symposium yesterday, Murwira said the role of universities in any education system was to improve the quality of life for humanity using knowledge.
“The UZ strategic plan has to create a Zimbabwe of our dreams. A Zimbabwe free from preventable diseases, a prosperous Zimbabwe. There is, thus, need for a social contract between society and the institutions of higher education. To attain this, university education must be able to create goods and services,” he said.
“Main point is consciousness and design. We should design our systems so that they produce the goods and services we require. We cannot move forward using wrong or misplaced design. Our design or re-configuration of our higher education should outline what we desire as an output.”
Murwira added: “If an education system produces literacy only, but does not produce goods and services, it then needs to be revisited and improved. Programmes that do not lead to the production of goods and services shall be dropped.”
He said education 3.0 was meant to produce research articles and materials for teaching and consultancy, whereas education 5.0 was designed for modernisation and industrialisation (practical application).
Murwira said a new programme aimed at encouraging outsiders to learn in Zimbabwe will be launched in the next 100 days.
“The study in Zimbabwe initiative is focused on targeting on increasing revenue through catering for international students; we have to provide quality and meaningful education,” he said.
UZ acting vice-chancellor Paul Mapfumo said: “We will set-up and train a group of strategic planners which we are going to appoint by March this year; the team will attend workshops on how to implement the recommendations and act on expected outcomes from this meeting.”