13 000 technical teachers wanted
Samantha Chigogo : Herald Correspondent
Zimbabwe has 13 000 vacancies for technical subject teachers and students were encouraged to train in such programmes in order to promote the country’s economic blueprint Zim-Asset. Speaking during a graduation ceremony at Belvedere Technical Teachers College (BTTC) in Harare yesterday, Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo said student teachers should take advantage of the available opportunities and train in technical subjects.“Zimbabwe has 13 000 vacancies for technical subject teachers,” he said.
“Today’s graduating class of 951 has only 376 technical and vocational subject teachers, and this leaves the vacancy for technical subject teachers at 12 624.”
He said the Government was working on initiatives to improve the availability of teachers’ jobs in the country.
Prof Moyo said the plan to build 2 000 primary, secondary schools and tertiary institutions across the country was still being pursued vigorously.
“For Belvedere College to realise its objective of developing and training properly grounded techvoc teachers, the time has come for the college to review its mandate,” he said, “in order to align it with the policy of one state university, one teachers’ college, one polytechnic and one industrial training centre in each province.”
He said to achieve their industrialisation and modernisation quest, institutions had to train skills capable of producing technological and engineering solutions to challenges, which exploit opportunities for the country’s economy.
Prof Moyo called on colleges to refrain from dual systems of higher and tertiary education where polytechnic and teacher education programmes exist under one roof.
“The management and responsibility structure of a dual system is problematic and unworkable,” he said.
“It is difficult to achieve equitable distribution of human, financial and material resources when institutions offering technical and teacher education are operating together as currently prevailing at Belvedere and J M Nkomo colleges.”
He said doing away with dual systems would reduce duration of programmes from five to four years as well as enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the teaching and learning activities.
“We expect Belvedere to redesign its curriculum for technical teacher education programmes and the new curriculum should therefore infuse industrial attachment as well as teaching practice,” Prof Moyo said.
College principal Ms Ruramai Mbofana called on graduates to reinforce the teaching of technical subjects across the country.
“With this ceremony, graduates must take note that the skills and knowledge gained from this college are critically important for national development and, I evoke you to be good examples in nation building,’ she said.
The graduation ceremony was celebrated under the theme: “Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through Education and Training.”
Since 1982, a total of 12 961 skilled persons have graduated from the college with 162 technicians graduating with a Higher Education Examinations Council qualification.