Polytechnics have no mandate to offer degrees

Polytechnics have no mandate to offer degrees
Published: 19 January 2018
HIGHER Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira has reiterated that polytechnics have no mandate to offer degree programmes.

He said such a mandate rests with universities. Addressing academics at Midlands State University last week, Professor Murwira said polytechnic colleges were designed for a purpose.

Prof Murwira said universities were innovation hubs that produced experts, while polytechnics were responsible for producing technicians. Former Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo wanted polytechnic colleges to offer degree programmes.

"There was a time when we did not know the purpose of anything," said Prof Murwira.
"We heard polytechnics saying we want to give degrees. Do we not have universities designed for that? Can you not partner these universities? Institutions are not created by mistake, but by design.

"We started asking questions on whether the institutions want knowledge or just issuing papers. This is not the time for self importance. We should give degrees to knowledgeable and deserving people. Let us not compromise the education system because it will hit back on us and impact on our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Knowledge should be in the head, not on papers. We cannot pick a paper from a litter bin and wake up the following day saying you are now a doctor. Universities are where brains work for the purpose of eliminating poverty."

Prof Murwira said Government should migrate from the "NGOisation" of development and come up with well orchestrated development programmes and systems where university graduates were able to contribute towards economic development. He said the country should not sell poverty , but opportunities to investors and potential partners. Prof Murwira took a swipe at some of his predecessors and acquaintances for bringing about "national disablement".

He said there was need for a pragmatic approach to development, where university research contributed towards national development.

"When you see hard work, you should cherish, but when you see laziness, you should be afraid," said Prof Murwira.

"When we attained Independence, we started well, building our own schools, clinics and hospitals, among other import infrastructure. Along the way, we started relying on donors to bring development to us and maintain the infrastructure we set up on our own. Ministers started misusing Government resources, bringing seven vehicles for commissioning of a single block. They contributed to national disablement. We are bringing renewed energy. We want to sell opportunity, not poverty. We want partners, not donors. We hear that Zimbabweans are doing well in other countries and we ask ourselves, is it us or them? It is because those countries have well orchestrated development programmes and our graduates fit in perfectly.

"We need to set up such systems in this country because we have a lot of underutilised intellectuals."
- zimpapers
Tags: Degree,


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