By Audience Mutema
THE curriculum being used in Zimbabwe’s tertiary institutions is outdated and divorced from reality, student leaders told Parliament Monday.
Representatives from the Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) and Zimbabwe Congress of Student Union told the Parliamentary Committee on Higher Education that the country’s tertiary education system needed to respond to the fourth industrial revolution.
Zinasu president Elias Madida and Zicosu’s secretary for education Dyson Nyatsanga, in their oral evidence presented to the committee, said the content students were receiving at institutions of higher learning will not help resolve the country’s economic problems.
”The lectures being delivered are out of touch with industry dynamics as well as requirements. It is clear that our tertiary institutions have become irrelevant and the products coming out of our institutions do not conform to industry demands,” said Nyatsanga said.
“Lecturers are playing their part, some are giving only the course outline to students and telling them to research on their own without giving proper guidance.”
In his presentation, Madida said there was need for focus on research in order to help the country respond positively to the fourth industrial revolution.
“The world is fast heading towards the fourth industrial revolution, priority should be given towards research in the universities. There is need for research within our institutions and when that research is done they must also increase student’s involvement.
“All university learning must be centered on research. We are moving towards the fourth industrial revolution but our graduates especially those in the field of engineering and information technology are not competent enough even to compete with those from other countries,” said Madida.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has also indicated his unhappiness with the calibre of graduates being churned out by the country’s universities, indicating more needs to be done especially in the field of research and development.