Abel Zhakata Manicaland Bureau
UNIVERSITIES are set to change their curriculum and ensure the setting up of a national research system that responds to the country’s pressing needs in all aspects of the economy.
In an interview at Africa University in Old Mutare last Friday, chairman of the universities’ taskforce Professor Levi Nyagura said Government should come up with a fund for national competitive research. He said institutions of higher learning should be the drivers of industrialisation and mordenisation.
“The developed countries are where they are today because they invested in higher education. They were able to move away from raw material driven economies to highly processed material economies,” said Prof Nyagura.
“As for Zimbabwe right now, we are raw material driven economy. We sell platinum out, we sell chrome out and we sell diamonds out unprocessed. They are not final products. The net effect is that we are denying our people jobs. The reason is that we have continued with the philosophy of the colonisers where Zimbabwe was considered as a source of materials, not as a destination for coming up with highly processed products which can be imported.
“What we are saying is that the developed countries managed to do what they did because of what was happening in their universities where people were conducting research, cutting edge research for practical value to their nations. We are focusing on trying to come up with systems, strategies and equipment to transform the country.”
Prof Nyagura said universities had the human capital to help in turning around the economy.
“We have the human resources and so we need a new orientation to the human capital,” he said.