Government re-configures higher learning curriculum

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HARARE – Government is reconfiguring the higher learning curriculum to standardise syllabi so that polytechnic students can pursue related degrees with greater ease.

Addressing the 29th main graduation and prize-giving ceremony held at Mutare Polytechnic College recently Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira said his ministry was doing this through harmonising the deferent programmes across universities and between poly technics and universities.

“We have taken bold steps to reorganise the higher and tertiary education system so that when we say someone has a degree in chemistry we mean the same thing unlike the current scenario where different universities have different curriculum for the same degree. This has not been a problem with polytechnics but with universities,” Murwira said describing the current scenario as chaotic.

He said they also reconfigured the curricula to ensure that universities acknowledge learning that would have occurred in polytechnics for those who would want to pursue degrees and not being considered at the same level with secondary school leavers.

“When you want to pursue degrees you should not be considered like people who are coming straight out of ‘A’ Level because you are better prepared for university,” Murwira said to applause.

Previously, polytechnic graduates were expected to enrol for university degrees as if they would be coming straight out of secondary school even after four years of study of the same field at tertiary level.

Murwira said the government has also done an audit that revealed that there was a 56 percent gap between the country’s high literacy levels and skills with a lot of work required to modernise the country.

“The gap between literacy and skills level, 56 percent, requires government to develop comprehensive strategies for achieving the industrialisation and modernisation goals.

“Human capital development is an important aspect for our nation to attain the vision of a middle-income economy by 2030,” he said.

He said his ministry was also taking steps to strengthen linkages between tertiary institutions and industry as this would ensure to horn relevant skills.

“The just completed Critical Skills Audit conducted by the government of Zimbabwe in March revealed that work-based learning addresses skills gap by giving students opportunities to interact with work environment.

“It helps institutions to identify gaps in the curriculum and review it to meet current and future needs in industry,” Murwira said.

Murwira said his ministry was supposed to provide solutions to cure the country’s economic challenges.