More academic freedom for lecturers mooted 

Source: More academic freedom for lecturers mooted | The Herald April 15, 2019

More academic freedom for lecturers mooted
Prof Murwira

Bulawayo Bureau
GOVERNMENT is revising the Manpower Planning and Development Act in a move that will grant lecturers more academic freedom and reform the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).

Presenting proposals for the amendment of the Manpower and Development Act at the Bulawayo Polytechnic College last week, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira said the alignment of the Act to the Constitution will see a lot of changes in higher education, as well as empowerment of lecturers.

He said among the principles set to be aligned to the Constitution is the transfer of tertiary education employees from the Public Service Commission to State institution employees.

“In order to follow and comply with international best practices in relation to academic freedom and academic integrity for industrialisation, modernisation and attainment of Vision 2030 and beyond, the ministry requires that all tertiary education institution employees be transferred from being Public Service Commission employees to State granted employees so that they are just like State university employees,” he said.

“This guarantees academic independence and objectivity for modernisation and industrialisation.”

Prof Murwira said the move was intended to ensure that Government retained and attracted the best brains to facilitate the industrialisation and modernisation of Zimbabwe.

“As a result of the process, all promotion procedure for tertiary institutions should be regularised under the Act in order to ensure compliance with the National Qualifications Framework,” said Prof Murwira.

He said the alignment of the Act would also see academic and professional training being done under one ministry.

“We also propose that the National Manpower Advisory Council (NAMACO) be given additional powers and be strengthened to have a stronger role and control over all professional bodies and all manpower-related activities in order for it to fully deliver its mandate for the industrialisation and modernisation of Zimbabwe,” said Prof Murwira.

He said the alignment of the Manpower Planning and Development Act was critical as the development of any nation was a reflection of development and skills of its manpower.

He said the inherited colonial education was a design named education 3.0 model based on teaching, research and community engagement which is not fit for production of goods.

“Resultantly, we conceptualised a model that allows us to move from idea to product by adding innovation and industrialisation to the traditional tripartite mission of teaching, research and community outreach,” said Prof Murwira.

“We codename this model Education 5.0. Based on this model Education 5.0, our mission critical for the production of goods and services can be met.”