Source: ED to launch national skills audit – Sunday News Jul 1, 2018
Tinomuda Chakanyuka, Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa is on Wednesday expected to launch the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) for Higher and Tertiary Education and the National Skills Audit, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira told Sunday News that the two documents have been approved by Cabinet.
“The National Qualifications Framework is now policy. It has been approved by Cabinet and it will be launched by His Excellency, President Mnangagwa on Wednesday in Harare. It will be launched at the same time with the National Skills Audit which has also been approved by Cabinet,” he said.
Prof Murwira said the two policy documents will be made public after the launch. He said the National Qualifications Framework, expected to transform the country’s education system, will be implemented through the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (Zimche).
“The policy will be implemented through Zimche. We are ready to move with it to ensure that our education is transformed and ready for international recognition,” he said.
Prof Murwira said the National Qualification Framework will see harmonisation of courses being offered at tertiary institutions to allow vertical migration of students. He said the National Qualifications Framework would ensure that qualifications attained at Diploma and Higher National Diploma levels are considered when one enrols for an undergraduate degree. This, he explained, would see students with prior qualifications being exempted from taking courses they would have passed in their previous studies.
“The National Qualifications Framework will ensure that our higher education system recognises prior learning. If one has a National Diploma or a Higher National Diploma, they should not be treated the same with someone who is coming straight from A-level. One can’t be made to take courses that they would have passed already, as if they were sleeping when they were at Polytechnic or Teachers College,” said Prof Murwira.
He added, “The framework will harmonise the body of knowledge to ensure that qualifications have minimum characteristics.
“Implementations of the policy will be gradual. Old students will continue with the old system while the new students will start learning under the new system.”
Prof Murwira said the National Skills Audit sought to address shortcomings in the education sector that have seen students studying for degrees that are no longer relevant to industry. This, he said, will see some diploma and degree programmes offered by higher and tertiary learning institutions either phased out or re-tailored to meet industry’s needs. Prof Murwira added that the skills audit also allows the country to ensure that when people go to study out of the country they are going to seek special qualifications which the country needs.
“For example, why should we send someone to study History and we give them foreign currency when we have History here?
We are saying where we have the most shortage, for example sciences, that’s where we can send people on staff development to train others or start that industry when they come back,” he said.
Zimbabwe last conducted a skills audit in 1984 with most of its recommendations now outdated and overtaken by developments, chief among them technology.