Columbus Mabika and Charmaine Brown
Initiatives to propel Zimbabwe into an upper middle income economy by 2030 are fast becoming a reality, Government has said.
In a speech read on behalf of the Head of State and Government by Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima last week during the commissioning of a US$5 million Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) printing press in Norton, President Mnangagwa said the initiatives will inspire growth and create employment for locals.
“Our vision to propel Zimbabwe into a middle class economy by 2030 is fast becoming a reality because of such massive projects and initiatives as we all see here today,” he said
“The idea of a printing press ensures that ZIMSEC will take charge of the critical processes of ensuring the production of examination papers without having to labour sourcing for foreign currency, as seen in 2018, where printing was outsourced due to the delay in the completion of the procurement process for this state-of- the-art machine,”.
“The printing press presents the opportunity for ZIMSEC to provide commercial printing services to universities, colleges, schools, public and private organisations, to not only generate revenue for the council to sustain operations, but also stimulate growth of the town through the creation of employment opportunities for Norton residents,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the ownership of a printing press by ZIMSEC puts all stakeholders at ease because it means taking full custody of one of the key stages in ensuring secure examinations
ZIMSEC board chairman Professor Eddie Mwenje said that the project put the country at par with other countries.
“This project puts Zimbabwe at par with those countries in the region and beyond that print their own examination materials,” he said.
Prof Mwenje said the Norton printing press began construction in 2011, following a memorandum of understanding between ZIMSEC and Canon South Africa to supply and install a printing press.
Information and communication technology expert Mr Canaan Gatsi, whose organisation Direct e-Learning is playing a key role in the digitisation of the country’s education system, said the installation of the printing press was a step in the right direction towards attaining inclusive and quality education that Government is committed to providing.
“This investment by Government is a foot in the direction towards enhancing President Mnangagwa’s vision of a 21st century education system in the country,” he said.