ALL polytechnics will soon offer degree courses as part of the government’s five-year higher education development plan, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Professor Jonathan Moyo has said. Prof Moyo said the measure was part of efforts to improve standards to ensure that tertiary institutions contribute in a meaningful way towards the growth of the country’s economy.
Addressing Masvingo Polytechnic students and staff on Friday night, Minister Moyo said all the country’s ten polytechnics should be in a position to offer degree programmes given that the country has qualified personnel.
“It’s possible for all polytechnics to offer degree programmes. The upgrading of the colleges to offer degree courses is part of the Ministry’s five-year development plan,” said Prof Moyo. He said the government had approved the offering of BTech degree programmes at Harare, Bulawayo, Kwekwe, Masvingo and Mutare polytechnics and all are affiliated to the National University of Science and Technology (Nust).
Prof Moyo underscored the need for polytechnics to have a bias towards science and industry studies so that they can be able to help transform the country’s economy. “You should strive to be the best in research as industry banks on you. There’s a momentum at this college and there’s therefore a need to grow in that direction,” he said.
He challenged tertiary institutions to continue to engage their parent ministry to share new ideas on how to improve their operations. Prof Moyo said it was always important for academic staff to think about the progress of their institutions.
“We would continue to interact with you and expect to get feedback, not only complaints but good ideas on how we can improve. However, you should be able to protect your intellectual property as a college and put more emphasis on producing products for the market. We’ll come back and observe what you produce at your engineering workshops so that we can render support where it’s necessary,” he said.
Prof Moyo is touring all institutions of higher learning in the country as part of an assessment meant to assist the ministry to improve standards. His visit to Masvingo province was the first since he was reassigned from the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services to that of Higher and Tertiary Education last July.