Minister: Zim clings to outdated, colonial education system

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By Costa Nkomo

HIGHER and Tertiary Education Minister Amon Murwira has admitted the country’s education system was outdated with local universities continuously churning out graduates who did not think beyond employment ambitions.

At a post-cabinet media briefing this past week, Murwira said the country still hung on to systems introduced during the colonial white government era.

“I agree the syllabus has not been well. It was colonially designed because in the colonial design, you didn’t need to do anything like thinking about how a bolt is made but how a bolt is screwed.

“That was the issue and I cannot blame it because it was designed like that.

“So us we have to design a new system; that is a new ambitious system for us to get out of this iron cage where 17 million people are looking for a job, from who?”

The top government official said the country’s education system did not challenge learners to start producing instruments capable of solving problems of a fast changing modern world.

“So, let’s not skirt the problem,” he said.

“The problem is we designed our systems in a manner that would make our graduates unable to produce things after university.

“We must be able to make things. Engineering must be able to produce engines. Media must be able to produce media productions. There is nothing too late.”

Murwira hinted government could dump some programmes that failed to respond to modern trends.

“All programs that don’t promise us what they are going to do in terms of skills and in terms of bodies of knowledge are going to dissolve themselves automatically,” he said.

The minister’s comments follow similar sentiments by local student representative groups that told parliament’s Higher and Tertiary Education committee a week ago the country’s educational slant was failing to equip students with skills required in the new millennium’s industrial revolution.