HARARE – Government has reversed a policy introduced by former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo to introduce degrees in teachers’ colleges and polytechnics.
This policy somersault emerged at a meeting between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and vice chancellors of universities and college principals at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).
Higher Education minister Amon Murwira said there was no need for polytechnics to offer degree programmes.
“We have had calls of polytechnics and teachers’ colleges trying to offer degrees and we are saying no.
“You remain doing what you were doing but we are going to enable progression through the national qualification programme such that if one is interested in going to university from a polytechnic you can always go through a pathway,” Murwira said
“Polytechnics and teachers’ colleges were never created by mistake and universities were never created by mistake. I did not see any reason why polytechnics should be independent. It’s difficult to function without technicians. This is also so that we don’t disrupt an educational system.”
Zimbabwe moved to transform teachers’ colleges and polytechnics into degree awarding institutions, with the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry setting up committees to look into the feasibility of the transformations.
The institutions were to offer about four specialised degrees, according to the former minister Moyo.
Moyo had said the transformation of the teacher colleges and polytechnics would improve the quality of tertiary education in the country as well as promote industrialisation and human capital development.
The steering committee had finished its study and was set to present a report and make recommendations.
As part of his 100-day plan, Murwira said they were going to craft strategies to increase university intake by 20 percent so that eligible students will not be left out.
“We are also going to have a skills audit to develop relevant skills. We are also going to develop a national qualification framework, which will guide how someone proceeds to university after polytechnic.”