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Moyo bemoans education neglect

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HIGHER and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo yesterday admitted that the education sector was underfunded by the government despite its pivotal role in developing the country’s human capital base.

By Nqobile Bhebhe/MTHANDAZO NYONI

Speaking at the official opening of the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU)’s Bulawayo regional centre yesterday, Moyo said the neglect was not in the best interest of the country.

“I have come to appreciate that the higher and tertiary education sector is a neglected sector. It’s a forgotten sector in our country and that is not in the national interest,” Moyo said as he diverted from his prepared speech.

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“. . . More so, when we know that this is the very sector which is responsible, generally, for manpower development, for developing the critical skills that our economy needs for the socio-economic transformation that we want . . .”

Moyo said without developing human capital, it was would be difficult to achieve Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) goals such as infrastructural development and poverty eradication, among other targets.

“If we are going to be able to address or consolidate the success that our country has made in laying a formidable foundation for basic education, we need to start paying attention to the requirements of the higher and tertiary education sector. If we don’t do that, we risk losing the foundation for basic education,” he said.

Moyo also challenged ZOU to come up with strategies that would help resuscitate the city’s collapsed industries and also enrol Zimbabweans in the Diaspora “so that when they return home, they will not be misfits”.

Once regarded as the country’s industrial hub, Bulawayo’s industrial area resembles a ghost town with hundreds of companies in the city having either closed down or relocated to Harare.

“I, therefore, challenge the Zimbabwe Open University through this regional centre to assist the government by doing research on practical and implementable strategies to resuscitate ailing manufacturing industries in the City of Bulawayo,” he said.

“I urge you to look for ways to operationalise ZimAsset, for example equipping youths who roam the streets of the City of Kings and Queens, who loiter at Renkini and Egodini with entrepreneurial skills so as to transform the lives of our people in Makokoba, Matshobane, Njube, Mpopoma, Luveve, Pelandaba and other residential areas where our people live.”

Speaking at the same occasion, ZOU vice-chancellor Primrose Kurasha said they were looking at the possibility of acquiring a farm for the regional centre.

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