3 000 graduate at Harare Poly amid demonstrations

BY VANESSA GONYE

HARARE Polytechnic College yesterday staged a successful 2019 graduation ceremony despite the rest of the city being in chaos, as police fought running battles with demonstrators in a brutal clampdown of protests organised by the opposition MDC party.

Officiating at the graduation ceremony, Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira said it was high time the nation focused on perfecting skills and not theory at the country’s institutions of higher learning, as has been the case.

“Our national skills audit from December 2017 to April 2018 showed that although the national literacy rate is 94%, the national skills levels are at 38%. This
is a result of the trajectory literacy development that we followed for 38 years,” he said.

“We have to admit that we have focused too much on university degrees. While university degrees are vital, especially when done well, the problem with the
current format, university degrees, particularly the more spectacular ones, is that people who possess them often fall into the trap of thinking people who
don’t have them don’t know anything.”

He bemoaned the fact that since independence in 1980, the country has been trapped in an archaic education system which deposed former President Robert Mugabe
placed much emphasis on.

“This has been our trap as Zimbabwe and we now want to jump out of this trap,” Murwira said.

He said the country’s polytechnics would evolve into centres of innovation and excellence in order to be relevant to the State’s industrialisation and
modernisation agenda.

Harare Polytechnic principal Tafadzwa Mundondo said his institution was in the process of redeeming the rigor mortised education system through embracing the
new education philosophy being adopted by the country, Education 5.0, which focuses on innovation and industrialisation.

“As Harare Polytechnic, we are reconfiguring and recoding our systems to fully harness and embrace the heritage based educational philosophy,” he said.

A total of 3 048 graduated at the ceremony, with 1 484 females in comparison to 1 564 males, proving a positive move on gender parity.

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