Pol­icy re­view for poly­tech­nics looms

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqo­bile Tshili

THE Govern­ment has chal­lenged poly­tech­nics to start of­fer­ing pro­grammes that ad­dress com­mu­nity needs in line with the coun­try’s in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and moderni­sa­tion drive.

Speak­ing dur­ing the Bulawayo Polytech­nic grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony in the city yes­ter­day, the Min­is­ter of Higher and Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion, Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Development, Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Moyo, chal­lenged the in­sti­tu­tion to brace for the Min­istry’s pol­icy re­view.

He said his min­istry was in the process of re­view­ing the higher and ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor which will see poly­tech­nics of­fer­ing de­gree pro­grammes in line with the Govern­ment’s Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy En­gi­neer­ing and Math­e­mat­ics (STEM) thrust.

“The Min­istry’s pol­icy on STEM cen­tres of ex­cel­lence is that each polytech­nic must of­fer pro­grammes that re­spond to the needs of com­mu­ni­ties where the polytech­nic is lo­cated. The STEM ar­ti­sans, tech­ni­cians, tech­nol­o­gists and en­gi­neers pro­duced by the coun­try’s poly­tech­nics should sus­tain Zim­babwe’s in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion agenda by pro­vid­ing tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions based on re­vise en­gi­neer­ing,” Prof Moyo said.

He said in­sti­tu­tions like Bulawayo Polytech­nic in­ter­ro­gate so­ci­etal prob­lems be­fore pro­grammes. “Bulawayo Polytech­nic’s pro­grammes must re­spond to the re­quire­ments of lo­cal in­dus­tries such as cloth­ing, tex­tiles, tyre man­u­fac­ture, leather and foot wear, fur­ni­ture mak­ing and bulk wa­ter sup­ply which has been the city’s prob­lem for years. “Are Bulawayo Polytech­nic’s pro­grammes aligned to these in­dus­tries? I think the an­swer is no. The is­sue needs thor­ough re­view as part of the Polytech­nic trans­for­ma­tion into a de­gree award­ing in­sti­tu­tion as a STEM cen­tre of ex­cel­lence,” said Prof Moyo. He said Bulawayo Polytech­nic should re­vert to its core man­date as there was a wor­ry­ing trend that most of its grad­u­ates were from the com­mer­cial and hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor. Prof Moyo said the coun­try’s Polytech­nic col­leges should ex­am­ine them­selves on whether pro­grammes they are of­fer­ing are rel­e­vant for the in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion of the coun­try. He said Poly­tech­nics should start pro­duc­ing grad­u­ates that will in­dus­tri­alise the coun­try in­stead of wear­ing gowns and de­mand­ing jobs. A to­tal of 2 013 stu­dents grad­u­ated at yes­ter­day’s cer­e­mony. should of­fer­ing

Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Moyo

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