President calls for pro-skills education 

Source: President calls for pro-skills education | The Herald August 5, 2019

President calls for pro-skills educationPresident Mnangagwa tours the University of Zimbabwe innovation hub in the company of UZ Chancellor Professor Paul Mapfumo (second from right) and Research and Innovation Executive Director Dr Florence Mtambanengwe (centre). Looking on are other dignitaries, including Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira

Zvamaida Murwira and Victor Maphosa
The era of an education system which creates job-seekers who are literate, but unskilled should be replaced by one that responds to the needs of industry and adapt to the always changing world, President Mnangagwa has said.

He said the creation of a responsive system enabled industries and businesses to provide solutions to the daily needs of communities.

The President, who is the Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), said while commissioning the university’s innovation hub yesterday.

“Relevant education and skills development is indeed an indispensable ingredient, as we accelerate the achievement of Vision 2030. The era of an education system which is tailored to simply create job-seekers has come to an end,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Under the Second Republic, we shall diligently pursue an education model that intellectually empowers our human capital so that it seeks, responds and adapts to the ever changing world. This is integral as we create industries, businesses, goods and services, which provide solutions to the daily needs of our communities.

“The development of skills and competencies, which facilitate the urgent need to penetrate global value chains will also be prioritised by my administration. Our investment in education at both national and family level must now, more than ever before, translate into tangible improvements in the quality of life of our people at every level.”

President Mnangagwa emphasised the importance of constant innovation saying it promoted the development of a country.

He commended the UZ for embracing and actualising the country’s modernisation and new education drive through successful establishment of the innovation hub, which he said was achieved through judicious utilisation of funds from Treasury.

“The funding and construction of this facility demonstrates Government’s commitment to the use of our own resources and the rich, diverse knowledge of our people to build and mordenise our country.

“Indeed, the history of the development of mankind proves that we must constantly innovate to promote the development of a country and its people. Regrettably, one of the largest and often unrecognised import bills for Zimbabwe, as with many African countries relates to the ‘Knowledge of How?’ in the form of technologies tools, equipment, methods, processes and approaches. “Hence without innovation, our country risks falling behind, or sinking into a passive state which may result in us missing the immense opportunities availed by the current development epoch,” he said

He challenged the UZ to take leadership in innovation related to climate change response strategies, development of medicines, agro-chemicals, fertilizers and vaccines.

“Going forward my Government will continue to recognize innovation as a cornerstone to accelerating social and economic development. It is time to value and promote independence thought. In addition we shall prioritise the creation of an enabling environment to improve our nation’s ability to attract investment and innovative ideas,” he said.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira said Vision 2030 was attainable through utilisation of innovation hubs.

“Innovation is the process of turning ideas into manufacturable and marketable form, thus at this Innovation Hub, three processes shall take place; technical evaluation of good ideas for the production of goods and services, legal protection of the products and services and marketing of the products and services.

“The prototypes are relayed to the industrial parks. It is through using these Innovation Hubs that we shall industrialise this nation. We shall attain Vision 2030 and we are saying, Zimbabwe shall develop through our design not through miracles,” he said.

UZ Chairperson Dr Anxious Masuka pledged the Council’s unwavering support to the institution’s efforts in finding solutions to national challenges.

The event was attended by Government Ministers, academics, ambassadors accredited to Zimbabwe and senior Government officials.