Let’s produce skilled teachers, says Murwira 

Source: Let’s produce skilled teachers, says Murwira | The Herald July 29, 2019

Let’s produce skilled teachers, says MurwiraProf Murwira

Cletus Mushanawani Mash Central Bureau Chief
IT is unacceptable for Zimbabwe to boast of a 94 percent literacy rate and continue to produce graduates with no practical skills which can advance the country, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Professor Amon Murwira has said.

In a speech read on his behalf by his permanent secretary, Professor Fanuel Tagwirei, at the graduation of 479 Early Childhood Development and primary school teachers at Madziwa Teachers’ College last week, Prof Murwira said: “The education system in Zimbabwe has been producing graduates whose quest is to look for an employer. Why is our education not working for our satisfaction?

“The answer is in the design. Our higher and tertiary education has been focusing on three missions — teaching, research and community service. The traditional design cannot produce skilled people for the production of goods and services.

“We are now saying our education system must be able to produce industry through its capacity to produce goods and services. Let us tackle our problems using education in order to move Zimbabwe and Africa forward. Nobody will come to do it for us. It is our duty and responsibility to pass on a better Zimbabwe and Africa to the next generation.

“Education must produce knowledge and skills which support an existing industry, as well as create or produce a new industry. So, the natural thing is that there must never be a mismatch between the education output and the employment requirements.”

Prof Murwira called for the balancing of skills and knowledge.

“The new teacher must think outside the box,” he said. “If you don’t get a job from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, you should not sit on your laurels. Do something in the education value chain.

“Start your own Early Child Development Centre, produce educational resources, as well as marketing of educational materials.

“Let us develop habits to teach our children to tap scientific knowledge in practical terms. Let us turn our schools into innovation and technology hubs in order for us to attain the status of an upper middle income economy.”

Also in a speech read on his behalf by University of Zimbabwe’s Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Professor Rosemary Moyana, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Mapfumo, said the New Dispensation viewed the modern day educator as an agent of economic change that embraced innovation, entrepreneurship and business prowess for economic transformation.

“We lag behind and fall short of realising optimal packages in competence-based practices in our quest for economic emancipation, he said.

“Indeed, some few decades gone by have witnessed our economy trapped in the doldrums and thus challenging the education sector to re-think, re-package and re-brand our practices for enhanced economic growth.

“The need for a paradigm shift and change of the mindset to embrace robust, holistic and aggressive educational practices aligned to economic growth and emancipation is thus urgent.”

The graduation ceremony saw Kudakwashe Banda breaking the academic records since the college’s inception in 2005, after scooping four distinctions in Teaching Practice, Theory of Education, Environmental Science and Professional Studies, while Shadreck Chakauya, who had a distinction in Theory of Education, graduated posthumously.