In the wake of a depressed industry characterised by low productivity and endless importation of goods and services, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira has reiterated the need to get our education system to work for the nation as it moves to become a middle-income economy as enunciated by His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vision 2030.
Speaking during the official opening of the Local and International Benchmarking of the Zimbabwe Minimum Bodies of Knowledge and Skills Workshop at Midlands State University’s Gweru Main Campus on Monday 22 July 2019, the Minister noted that in order for the country’s education system to work, there was dire need to strike a balance between knowledge and skills.
‘The results of our National Critical Skills Audit showed that although the National Literacy rate is 94%, the National Skills levels are at 38%. Remember: production of goods and services can only happen when there is both knowledge and skill. Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice,’ said Prof. Murwira.
The mismatch between knowledge and skills has largely been attributed to the traditional design and philosophy of the country’s higher education system, which was premised on Education 3.0 (teaching, research and community engagement). However, by embracing a new design, Education 5.0 (teaching, research, community engagement, innovation and industrialisation) anchored by a new heritage-based philosophy, it is expected that the country’s education system will begin to effectively work, resulting in the creation of goods and services.
The four-day Minimum Bodies of Knowledge and Skills (MBKs) workshop, which will run until the 25th of July 2019 is therefore aimed at ensuring horizontal comparability of education and training qualifications both locally and internationally as part of the objectives of the Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework (ZNQF). Thus guaranteeing that students from different institutions across the country have the same minimum level of knowledge and skills needed to industrialise the nation, regardless of the institution they studied with.
Welcoming guests and participants who included Prof. F. Tagwira, Prof. C. J. Chetsanga, Prof. K. P. Dzvimbo, Prof. W. Magwa, Dr S. Diarra and Dr R. Matchaba-Hove and other distinguished academics and thought leaders to the ZIMCHE organised workshop, MSU Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Academic Affairs, Professor D. Z. Moyo said the outcomes of the MBKs workshop would go a long way in transforming Zimbabwe tertiary education and its contribution to national development.