By Alois Vinga
HIGHER Education Minister Amon Murwira has allayed fears the government was working on implementing uniform curricula across all similar degree programmes offered by local universities.
However, he said the curricula were a model which focused more on teaching, research and community service and moving towards the adoption of innovation and industrialisation.
Murwira said visits and interactions to all the state-run universities and colleges operating in Harare revealed that both lecturers and students were confused on the new path the government had adopted.
However, some have criticised the process for allegedly seeking to create a uniform degree structure at all government-funded universities fearing this would likely affect the smooth flow of learning.
But speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Monday, Murwira dismissed the claims urging citizens to take their time and appreciate the new education system.
“No. We are not enforcing uniform curricula across all degree programmes. Under the new system, the degree programmes will be expected to reflect a 70 to 80 % uniformity with the remaining 20 to 30 % upholding programmes differentiation as per the college’s focus area,” he said.
The minister said it would not make sense for total uniformity to be observed because universities had a different thrust.
“So you will realise that for instance, National University of Science and Technology (NUST) runs a BSc Civil Engineering Degree with a focus on dam construction. As a result, they can’t be expected to have a similar programme with the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) which specialises in, say housing construction,” said Murwira.
He said the main reason behind the changes was to create graduates who could easily proffer industrial and technological needs of the nation, marking a shift from the past theoretical approaches of studying.
The government has since released $700 000 for the setting up of innovation hubs at state universities.
The funds have already been received by NUST, the Midlands State University (MSU), UZ, the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT), the Zimbabwe Defence University, and Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT).