Polytechnics, colleges to issue degrees
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