Farirai Machivenyika–Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa has signed into law, the Manpower Planning and Development Amendment Act that seeks to promote the development and implementation of a higher and tertiary education policy which enables learners who go through the system, to be producers of goods and services.
The new law also seeks to promote gender balance and equitable regional representation in institutions of higher learning in line with Constitutional requirements.
The law is in line with Government’s policy to revolutionise the tertiary education system to make it more responsive to the country’s development needs.
It also provides for the transfer of persons employed in tertiary institutions from the Public Service to the Tertiary Education Service that would be established.
The minister responsible for Higher and Tertiary education is now empowered to establish academies of sciences and in consultation with the minister responsible for Finance, to make a grant or loan to, or in respect of any teacher’s college, technical or vocational institution, university or university college, or to any other person or institution, in furtherance of innovation and industrialisation.
All universities, research institution, teacher’s college or technical or vocational institution are now obligated to establish, on its own or in partnership with another, a fund to be known as an Innovation and Industrialisation Fund.
The Fund will be for supporting the development of start-up commercial enterprises and, or technological solutions within its purview; to promote synergies or partnerships in engineering, technology and innovation between the particular university, research institution, teacher’s college or technical or vocational institution and industry and the community.
The minister is now empowered to capacitate struggling professional regulatory bodies, dissolve the management of a regulatory body where the minister, taking cognisance of the recommendation by the Council is satisfied that any professional body is acting in a manner detrimental to the manpower development requirements of Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund is now required to develop skilled manpower and professions; support and promote the creation of new knowledge, research, innovation, science, technological and engineering solutions and business enterprises.
Since the coming in of the Second Republic, Government has been emphasising on Education 5.0 which demands that students be taught both theoretical and practical aspects of life.