By Upenyu Chaota
The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Professor Amon Murwira has lampooned the country’s higher education system which he claims is producing less of thinkers and more of fools.
Murwira spoke at a recent Zanu PF Masvingo Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) meeting where he said the education system had over the years failed to produce solution holders.
He said at birth, people are ignorant and without knowledge of anything but are made stupid and foolish with the type of education they receive.
“We should know that every person born of a woman is born ignorant but not foolish or stupid. So where does stupidity and foolishness come from? Fools come from the education system. The type of education that tells them that in order to do engineering you have to study English first.
“Our ancestors never learned English but we have our Great Zimbabwe monuments. That kind of engineering remains a marvel even to date. Our education system is teaching people to read and write but is doing little to teach them to think.
“This is why you see a lot of people fighting on WhatsApp because they mastered the skill of writing and reading but not thinking,” said Murwira.
Murwira said there is need for a complete paradigm shift in the country’s higher education system as the education is contributing to uselessness with 98 percent of the people only good at reading and writing while 38 percent are equipped with skills.
“This country has been subjected to systematic destruction of the confidence of its people. The issue now is how do we construct and reconstruct the confidence of our people.
“We need to move away from being beggars to producers. The aim of our education is to modernize and industrialize this county. It is not to Westernise, Easternise, Northernise or Southernise.
“We need to ask ourselves why our universities and colleges are detached from the society they are intended to transform. We want to restore ourselves as a people through relevant education,” said Murwira.
He said a lot of graduates complain that there are no jobs yet the country is facing a myriad of problems which requires people to put their brains and skills to work and provide jobs for themselves in the process of solving the crisis.
“Education has to have a purpose and benefits. We don’t want people who go through higher education and come back looking for jobs.
“What have you been learning? How does education lead to uselessness? We have now looked at this thing and said let us look at our tertiary institutions and see why people are being taught to destroy rather than build.
“Education should create solutions not add to the problem. We see graduates getting into the streets demanding jobs yet we expect them to create jobs. We asked ourselves why our education system is creating professors who are begging for food. People say there are no jobs but the country has drought. There are no drugs but people say there are no jobs. To address all these problems is a job on its own.
“There are plenty of jobs but there is no one doing it. We need to fix our education system first. 98 percent of our people can read and write but only 38 percent have skills,” said Murwira.