By James Muonwa I Mashonaland West Correspondent
THERE is high attrition of academic staff at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) due to poor salaries and other conditions of service.
The resignations of senior staffers, including professors, leaving for other better rewarding higher and tertiary institutions, locally and abroad, is threatening excellent education delivery at the institution.
Speaking during CUT’s graduation ceremony in Chinhoyi Friday, Vice Chancellor, David Jambgwa Simbi said the brain drain had negatively impacted on the institution’s capacity to deliver on its mandate of being the citadel of technological innovations.
“The issue of brain drain that nearly destroyed higher education between 2006 and 2009 is resurfacing. Since January 2022, nineteen (19) academics have resigned from CUT, of which 14 were PhDs and professors,” said Simbi.
“This is a disturbing statistic as it flies in the face of efforts by the executive in championing innovation and industrialisation pillars.
“Most academics are, however, leaving to introduce the same concepts at universities that they are going to.”
Simbi hinted that those who left CUT would regret as better days were coming.
“I, however, have a message for those who are leaving that the sun is rising,” he said.
The vice chancellor lamented that the university had recorded a low uptake of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programmes at postgraduate level due to a shortage of tutors and resources.
Meanwhile, CUT Chancellor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa challenged graduates to demonstrate acquired education by making products and services and should desist from bragging about having useless paper qualifications.
“Paper qualification can be futile if you cannot produce something tangible. We must celebrate producing something tangible.
“We must have a high performance and results culture within the higher and tertiary education ecosystem,” Mnangagwa said.
He made the remarks while addressing guests the institution’s farm where he commissioned Industrial Cattle Fattening Pens and Medicinal Feed Factory, which are part of several initiatives and innovations by the institution.
“We must no longer celebrate because you now have a paper qualification, but that you have been moulded in a practical way that enables you to produce goods and services.”
Mnangagwa emphasised that the education system should adequately empower a graduate to self-sustain and contribute to national development to dovetail with the national thrust of modernisation and industrialisation to ensure attainment of an upper middle income society by 2030.