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Stop blaming colonisers

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THE government should take revelations that youths in Matabeleland South are reluctant to take up vocational training seriously and work on remedial action.

Minister of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education and Vocational Training, Josiah Hungwe, was on Wednesday during a tour of the Joshua Mqabuko Polytechnic College in Gwanda told that most youths preferred enrolling for teacher training courses.

The college authorities said it got 5 000 applications for training programmes and could only train 500 teachers at any given time.

Only 200 students are enrolled for technical courses at the Gwanda institution. Zimbabwe is battling one of the worst unemployment levels in the world, with some putting the number of unemployed at more than 85% of the population.

Matabeleland is the hardest hit following the wholesale closure of companies in Bulawayo in the past two decades. For far too long the government has dithered on a job strategy to counter the negative trend.

President Robert Mugabe’s latest promise to deal with unemployment was the appointment of Hungwe and the creation of the curiously named Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education and Vocational Training ministry.

Hungwe has been trying to find his feet since his appointment last year. However, from his reaction to the revelations about the lack of interest in vocational courses, the minister has no clue about what he is supposed to do.

All the minister could do was blame the colonial government for the lack of interest in acquiring practical skills and this is happening 34 years after independence.

Hungwe should by now be presenting concrete plans on how the government intends to make the acquisition of practical skills attractive to the youth.

The economic infrastructure inherited from the colonial regime has been rendered ineffective in dealing with problems of unemployment in the country and the government should not be stuck in the past.

It is time Hungwe justified the existence of his ministry and stopped blaming a system that was dismantled three decades ago.

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