By Clive Makumbe
The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Professor Amon Murwira (pictured) said government has reviewed the curriculum structure for universities, teachers’ colleges and polytechnics to align the country’s higher education system with the socio and economic environment.
Prof Murwira said the country needs a heritage based educational system that conforms to the current economic system.
“Our educational system is going to adopt a heritage based approach. In our development pact, we are saying let us base teaching on our heritage, and by heritage I am talking about our resources. When we teach, let us teach our students basing on the environment around us.
“Let us use locally available materials in teaching our students. A teacher cannot teach an ECD learner about snow that he or she has never seen. Teach them about locally available resources that are found here in Zimbabwe. We need to promote heritage-based education,” he said.
Prof Murwira, said lecturers and teachers should teach according to locally available resources.
“In Zimbabwe, we have different resources with a lot of agriculturally suitable land. We do not have a shortage of examples for orienting our syllabus towards exploiting our resources for our own development. If one thinks of inventing material for construction, he or she should use materials available in Zimbabwe.”
Prof Murwira said, a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) has been crafted to enable the smooth flow of the education system.
“Ideally, students studying Engineering at NUST in their second year are able to transfer to MSU and continue from where they would have left. This would be possible if the board of knowledge is harmonized.
“Our higher education system should also recognise prior learning. If one holds a national diploma or a higher national diploma, they should not be treated the same with someone who is coming straight from A-level.
“One can’t be made to take courses that they would have passed already, as if they were sleeping when they were at polytechnic or teachers’ college,” said Prof Murwira.
He said the ministry was also conducting a skills audit to ensure that tertiary institutions impart to students skills that are relevant to prevailing circumstances. The skills audit, he said, would see some courses that were no longer applicable to the current environment being scrapped.
He added that, the extensive curriculum review exercise was also aimed at ensuring that the country’s higher education system produces graduates that could service industry as well as those that could create new industries through innovation.