President Emmerson Mnangagwa says institutions of higher learning should work as an integral part of the country’s economy and should harness the knowledge and skills of graduands through science, technology, research and development for economic growth.
Speaking at a Great Indaba with the Vice Chancellors, deans, directors of institutes and heads of departments today at the Harare International conference Centre (HICC), Cde Mnangagwa who is also the Chancellor of all state universities said education system is the pillar for the development of the nation and institutions of higher learning should harness the knowledge and skills of graduands for economic growth.
“We look upon the institutions of higher learning to lead in research and development to support the agriculture sector and industry through the adoption of water harvesting technologies and farming methods as well as other innovations in order to retain the country’s breadbasket status and boost productivity which will in turn boost our economy,” says the President.
Cde Mnangagwa commended the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development for organising the indaba on such a time when the country has embarked on a drive to steer the economic turnaround of Zimbabwe.
The President also urged captains of industry to partner the government in the academic transformative agenda as they are the immediate beneficiaries of a skilled workforce.
“With the unity of purpose and team spirit, we can achieve far beyond. This will improve service delivery in both public and private entities. It’s high time we adopt the new direction that my government has taken to revive the economy and bring about a better Zimbabwe,” said Cde Mnangagwa.
The Head of State and Government highlighted that the spirit of honesty must prevail within parents and learners so as to shun corruption and nepotism.
He said; “Learners should not be subjected to abuse in order to get higher marks. Perpetrators of such vices shall be brought to book”.
President Mnangagwa also urged the people of Zimbabwe to remain peaceful and united as one people ahead of the harmonised elections set for later this year.
“We are one people united by our national flag, anthem and purpose such as what our former Vice President John Nkomo said, ‘Peace begins with me, peace begins you, peace begins with all of us’,” he said.
The thrust of the meeting which ran under the theme, “The Role of Universities in Growing the Economy” is to determine the contribution of tertiary institutions in economic development through research and teaching.
Since 1980, the country has been upgrading the education system from one state university to more than 10 to date.
Apart from state universities the country has also introduced a number of Polytechnic Colleges (Bulawayo Poly, Gweru Poly, Kwekwe Poly, Joshua Mqabuko Poly, Mutare Poly) and Vocational Training Centres.