Policy review for polytechnics looms
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