Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
POLYTECHNICS and universities across the country should play a key role in the revival of defunct companies like Ziscosteel through innovations and polished human capital,.
Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister, Professor Amon Murwira, said this in a speech read on his behalf by his principal director, Mrs Martha Muguti, during the 36th graduation ceremony at Kwekwe Polytechnic.
The Minister said the new education 5.0 model seeks to develop knowledge and skills through innovation and researches that answer everyday questions.
“The new 5.0 design graduates are expected to solve everyday life problems that confront real communities at real places in real time. For that to be achieved we expect to see tertiary institutions such as Kwekwe Poly produce industrialists rather than workers, manufacturers rather than money vendors, engineers rather than requisitionists. You are expected to go and support the existing industry and create the new industry,” said Prof Murwira.
He said companies such as Ziscosteel should be resuscitated using local knowledge and resources if possible.
“I know it has become a common cliché that we resuscitate industry but my thinking is dissimilar to that common thread. My philosophy is not that we resuscitate Zisco, but we recreate Zisco because we will need to import tools and skills to keep it running. We need local knowledge from Kwekwe Polytechnic and sister institutions to lead the recreation of technology that brings Zisco, other industries and mines up and running,” said the Minister.
Prof Murwira said the culture and belief that everything should be imported should be done away with.
“Only when we start developing technologies using local resources, brains and capacity can we effectively and significantly cut on the import culture and hence the import bill thereby creating wealth for our nation, which is currently reeling from the clutches of a heavy debt burden,” he said.
Prof Murwira said his Ministry was in the process of setting up initiatives to make sure that all institutions set up plans of action to join the fourth industrial revolution bandwagon.
“We need to know what tertiary institutions are working on. My ministry is at the forefront of setting up the initiatives to make sure all institutions set up plans and actions.
“We have to prepare for the future that is already here. We need to know what exists but to be both the subjects and agents of this revolution and for this to happen we need to start having action plans,” he said.
“We need all our staff members to be up to speed with the changing digital developments and technologies to appreciate the internet of things and all new thinking driven by digital technologies and artificial intelligence,” said Prof Murwira.
A total of 1 208 graduates received certificates and diplomas from the engineering and applied science as well as from the commerce divisions.
In his speech, Kwekwe Polytechnic Principal Mr Evans Musara said the institution had already formed partnerships with the corporate world in a bid to help produce a fully fledged graduate.
“For the purposes of ensuring best practices, the Polytechnic has forged strong partnerships with the corporate world. This is a result of actual job placements. Employers too stand to benefit as this arrangement gives the opportunity to assess the Polytechnic trainees for potential employment,” said Mr Musara.
He said the college had also adopted the competency-based curriculum, which specifies that continuous assessment is done twice per academic year by external assessors from industry and commerce.