Polytech­nics, col­leges to is­sue de­grees

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Lloyd Gumbo Harare Bureau

PLANS to trans­form teach­ers col­leges and polytech­nics into de­gree award­ing in­sti­tu­tions have gone a notch up with Higher and Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion, Science and Tech­nol­ogy De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Moyo ap­point­ing com­mit­tees to look into the mat­ter.

Prof Moyo ap­pointed a foun­da­tion com­mit­tee re­cently chaired by former Univer­sity of Zim­babwe Pro-Vice Chan­cel­lor Chipo Dyanda, to look into the trans­for­ma­tion of all teach­ers col­leges into uni­ver­si­ties of ed­u­ca­tion while Chin­hoyi Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy’s Pro­fes­sor David Simbi will head the steer­ing com­mit­tee that will con­sider the fea­si­bil­ity of turn­ing polytech­nics into de­gree award­ing in­sti­tu­tions.

Prof Moyo met some of the mem­bers of the two com­mit­tees at his of­fices in Harare re­cently where he im­plored them to dili­gently look into the mat­ter and make in­formed rec­om­men­da­tions by the end of Novem­ber this year.

In a state­ment read by Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Higher and Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion, Science and Tech­nol­ogy De­vel­op­ment Dr Machivenyika Ma­pu­ranga af­ter the meet­ing, Prof Moyo said the new pol­icy rec­om­men­da­tions arose dur­ing his ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tive meet­ings with var­i­ous stake­hold­ers be­tween July 2015 and Fe­bru­ary 2016.

He out­lined terms of ref­er­ence for the two com­mit­tees.

“Out­line the his­tory, chal­lenges and achieve­ments against the back­ground of teacher or polytech­nics ed­u­ca­tion in Zim­babwe,” reads the terms of ref­er­ence.

“Iden­tify ar­eas re­quir­ing short-term and long-term pol­icy in­ter­ven­tions to cor­rect the cur­rent prob­lems and to en­hance the ca­pac­ity of teach­ers col­leges or polytech­nics in Zim­babwe.

“Re-align cur­rent man­dates, struc­ture, in­sti­tu­tional gover­nance and leg­isla­tive frame­works, pro­grammes, projects and re­search plans of teach­ers col­leges or polytech­nics for in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion through the STEM ini­tia­tive.”

The com­mit­tees will then make rec­om­men­da­tions to the min­istry on whether teach­ers col­leges can be turned into de­gree award­ing in­sti­tu­tions with Mkoba Teach­ers Col­lege as the Na­tional Univer­sity of Ed­u­ca­tion with a spe­cial man­date on teach­ers ed­u­ca­tion.

Prof Moyo said the com­mit­tees’ spe­cific terms of ref­er­ence were to crit­i­cally ex­am­ine cur­rent gover­nance and man­age­ment struc­tures, study pro­grammes, staff and stu­dent re­cruit­ment poli­cies iden­ti­fy­ing strengths and weak­nesses and then come up with pre­ferred al­ter­na­tives.

They are also ex­pected to iden­tify fund­ing im­pli­ca­tions of the pro­pos­als and what sources of fund­ing were avail­able and en­abling the teach­ers col­leges or polytech­nics to of­fer de­grees as stand-alone in­sti­tu­tions ca­pa­ble of of­fer­ing at least four de­gree spe­cial­ists.

The two com­mit­tees will also be ex­pected to iden­tify op­por­tu­ni­ties to col­lab­o­rate with uni­ver­si­ties to help ca­pac­i­tate teach­ers col­leges or polytech­nics.

“We con­sider this to be a very sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment in line with His Ex­cel­lency’s pol­icy charge that our coun­try must now in­dus­tri­alise and mod­ernise,” said Prof Moyo.

“In­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion of our coun­try is in the con­text of the Sadc In­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion Strat­egy as well as the African Union’s Agenda 2063, both which were adopted by the two or­gan­i­sa­tions when His Ex­cel­lency was their chair­per­son.

“We are do­ing so in terms of our mand a t e de­rived from the Man­power De­vel­op­ment Act, which en­dears us to plan, de­velop and train man­power or hu­man cap­i­tal or skills that are re­quired by our econ­omy to achieve a given pol­icy ob­jec­tive from the na­tional lead­er­ship. And the pol­icy ob­jec­tive now is in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion.”

Prof Moyo said rec­om­men­da­tions from the com­mit­tees would be taken to Cabi­net for con­sid­er­a­tion.

Other mem­bers of the com­mit­tee on trans­for­ma­tion of teach­ers col­leges are Dr No­math­emba Ndi­weni, Dr At­twell Mamvuto, Dr Eve­lyn Garwe, Mr Ja­son Muwandi, Mrs Rose­mary Nyarugwe and Dr Florence Dube.

Mem­bers of the com­mit­tee on trans­for­ma­tion of polytech­nics are Dr Zwelibanzi Dlodlo, Dr Nduduzo Phuthi, Ms Pon­iso Watema, Mrs Ma­gripa Nleya, En­gi­neer Martin Manuhwa and En­gi­neer Tafadzwa Mudondo.

Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Moyo

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