The Education 5.0 learning model has started bearing fruit as most tertiary institutions have begun to articulate President Mnangagwa’s call for technological development to drive the country towards Vision 2030 of an empowered upper middle income economy.
Through Education 5.0, the education sector is anchored on the pillars that include teaching, research, community services, innovation and industrialisation.
Innovation hubs have been set at tertiary institutions across the country to promote heritage-based Education 5.0 for the industrialisation and modernisation of Zimbabwe.
Yesterday, Cabinet ministers witnessed an obstacle detector for people with visual impairment which would vibrate when approaching an obstacle or pool of water, and a pharmacy locator aimed at assisting with information about where a pharmacy is as well as displaying the available medicines in stock.
The inventions were all done by University of Zimbabwe students, Leo Muchenje and Tafadzwa Muusha at their Innovation Hub, and are expected to help people with disabilities.
Muchenje invented a pharmacy detector while Muusha, a female student, invented a smart blind walking stick.
President Mnangagwa recently launched the National Disability Policy for Zimbabwe, a development which signifies the highest level of commitment the Government has towards addressing the needs of persons with disabilities.
Speaking during a ceremony for the innovations at the University of Zimbabwe campus yesterday, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima, who was guest of honour, said the configuration of innovation hubs was in tandem with President Mnangagwa’s far-sighted policy of leaving no-one behind.
“The inventions of a smart blind stick, pharmacy locator and recumbent electric cycle by the University of Zimbabwe Innovation Hub Auditorium represents the beginning of the movement of the national disability policy which has been launched by our President, from paper to the real world to make a difference in the life of persons with disabilities and their families,” said Prof Mavima.
“Assistive devices and technologies play a great role in reducing inequalities as they help persons with disabilities to use their varied abilities to do the things that they want or need to do, from walking, commuting to cooking and communicating among many other things,” he said.
Prof Mavima said he was confident that in future the continued collaboration between the Department of Disability Affairs in his Ministry would see the invention of additional devices ranging from wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, crutches and prosthetic devices, among others.
Speaking at the same occasion, Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Professor Amon Murwira said the call for a radical shift towards innovation and industrialisation would facilitate the country to escape from challenges emanating from the colonially designed Education 3.0, which churned out job seekers.
“In line with the Vision 2030 of attaining an upper-middle income economy, our universities are implementing a reconfigured education system, heritage-based Education 5.0.
“Zimbabwe and other African countries have been faced with the challenge of a colonial designed Education 3.0 system which produces job seekers.
“Our Education 5.0 is a complete shift in mission and we are in a new space where we have to experience the revolution together,” said Prof Murwira.
He said he was happy with the energy with which universities had come forward to operationalise Education 5.0, specifically doing programs that are targeted to satisfy the basic human needs and in line with Government of Zimbabwe priority programmes.