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Zimche bemoans decline of education quality in Zimbabwe

THE Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (Zimche) has expressed concern over the sharp decline in the quality of graduates churned out by local universities.

Speaking during a Higher and Tertiary Education (HTE) conference in Bulawayo yesterday, Zimche deputy chief executive officer Evelyn Garwe said captains of industry had raised alarm over the lack of skills exhibited by half-baked graduates produced at the country's institutions of higher learning.

"Stakeholders have raised perceptions on higher education institutions with students arguing that lecturers teach irrelevant subjects that are divorced from what practically happens in the industry, they say they are mature and want full responsibility of the curriculum," she said.

"College students have argued that they have more knowledge compared to university students. The institutions said students have a poor reading culture, there are also large class sizes which are often poorly attended, employers demand made-to-order graduates."

Speaking at the same event, National University for Science and Technology spokesperson Felix Moyo urged institutions to reinvigorate their training programmes to remain relevant in the fast-changing technological environment.

"As a country, we are facing a dilemma where HTE is unsustainable. This is a call on the nation to focus on a mandate to contribute to the resuscitation of the economy," Moyo said.

He, however, defended the quality of graduates produced locally, saying the blame should be placed on meagre resources at their disposal.

"Our graduates are of high quality because they are doing great in other countries despite being produced under the meagre resources. Some industries in foreign countries are run by Zimbabweans, let us focus on reviving our economy, we have all the expertise," he said.

The two-day conference was attended by representatives from all the country's universities.


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