Victor Maphosa, Harare Bureau
Teachers should embrace the new curriculum as a vehicle for the attainment of the nation’s Vision 2030, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Amon Murwira has said.
He made the remarks while officiating at the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) national annual conference closing ceremony in Harare yesterday.
Minister Murwira said President Mnangagwa has outlined on behalf of all Zimbabweans, a vision of upper middle income economy for Zimbabwe by 2030, meaning all the conditions that lead to industrialisation and modernisation have to be fulfilled.
“We contend that the answer to the vision lies in our education system and its design,” he said. “Our education has to be of international best practice, but has to be unique in its application to Zimbabwe, that is why we are now using an improved education system which I urge all of us in the education sector to embrace.”
Prof Murwira said as an educating sector, their role was to make the system become a tool which creates industrialisation and modernisation.
“Our mission critical for Zimbabwe now is to make sure that our education system leads to production of goods and services, thus in effect causing industry,” he said.
“In December 2017, we started on a process to creatively look at our education system, the old design was intentionally designed for the purpose of producing a worker, not an industrialist or a producer and there is no way we can fulfil our mission using that design.
“Resultantly, we have now conceptualised a new augmented 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.”
Prof Murwira said based on the augmented model code named Education 5.0, the education sector mission for the production of goods and services could be met.
“To this end, we have started construction of innovative hubs where good ideas are evaluated,” he said.
“The product of an innovative hub is a prototype which would be ready for transfer to the industrial parks for manufacturing.
“For all this to be successful, we in the teaching fraternity must embrace the new design and work together.”
In his remarks, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Paul Mavima called on teachers to work towards attaining vision 2030.
“Our ultimate goal as a sector is to move this country to middle income economy by 2030 and the education sector has the key to that,” he said.
“If this new design is embraced by all of us, our nation will never be hungry.”
Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the conference on Tuesday, ZIMTA chief executive officer Mr Sifiso Ndlovu said the new curriculum adopted by Government is an essential ingredient for attaining Vision 2030.
“The old curriculum should be completely buried and more emphasis must be on the new curriculum,” said Mr Ndlovu.
“The curriculum is designed in a way which answers national needs and is key to development. The new dispensation’s mantra of making the nation a middle income economy by 2030 can be easily achieved if the new curriculum is fully implemented.
“Our institutions should be able to produce competitive people who can provide solutions and answers to the challenges of our country.”
Mr Ndlovu said teachers should be well equipped and update their teaching methods to meet the required standards which are essential in moulding students.
“It is important for teachers to be well trained and developed so as to produce graduates who are effective participants in a society,” he said.
“The new curriculum is the answer to the new generation. We want a generation which creates employment, not to rely on being employed as was the benefit of the old curriculum.
“Gone are the days when institutions used to produce people who are only trained to be employed. Institutions must contribute to the development of the nation through graduates who have solutions to challenges.”
Mr Ndlovu called on teachers to embrace and adapt to the requirements of the new curriculum.
He commended the new dispensation for adopting the new curriculum which he said will immensely contribute to the industrialisation of Zimbabwe.
“It is commendable that Government has adopted this new curriculum,” said Mr Ndlovu. “Our children will be equipped with necessary knowledge required on the job market, they will be competitive.”