Source: Universities out of touch with industrial world: Panelists – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 10, 2017
THERE is a huge disconnect between industry and academic institutions in Zimbabwe, a situation that has left the economy hanging in the balance, NewsDay has heard.
By MTHANDAZO NYONI
Speaking at a business breakfast meeting organised by Global Shapers Bulawayo hub on Friday, panelists said universities were out of touch with what was happening in the industrial world.
Policy analyst, Butler Tambo, said the education sector has been producing a lot of graduates, who were failing to secure jobs.
“The question is, is it an issue of the graduates not having the requisite skills or is it an issue of industry simply being unable to absorb them? My take becomes a fact that education falls under the superstructure of the economy. So it supposed to be economic policy of the country that determines what universities should produce,” he said.
Another panelist, Davies Sibanda, said there was a huge disconnect between Zimbabwe’s universities and industry.
“One, industry is not static and universities have actually closed themselves out from where everything is happening. The kind of graduate that comes into the industry is actually a graduate, who actually arrives in a workplace when the workplace has moved four to five years ahead,” Sibanda, a labour expert, said.
He said the world was moving so fast that what graduates learnt in the first years at universities become irrelevant to the industry when they finish.
“Our universities are not current and that is the biggest issue,” Sibanda said.
Reginald Shoko, an economic analyst, said universities were dead and needed to wake up.
“Universities in Zimbabwe, as they are, are dead. They are not contributing to anything to the economy because they are just churning out people, who are just certified, but not certified for the existing world,” Shoko said.
In response, academic Samson Mtisi said academic institutions have responded by sending students on industrial attachment as a way of complementing their skills.
But he conceded that there was need for more collaboration between universities and industry.