Varsities curricula to focus on economic development

Cletus Mushanawani Mashonaland Central Bureau
UNIVERSITIES are undergoing transformation and are coming up with courses tailor-made to spur the country’s economic development, Bindura University of Science Education vice-chancellor Professor Eddie Mwenje has said.

“In the past, universities were doing researches which would be piled in our offices and archives, but this time special emphasis is on innovation and coming up with industrial hubs,” he said. “This will form the bedrock of major developments in all provinces.

“As Bindura University of Science Education, we decided to introduce courses like Agriculture Engineering, Electronic Engineering and Health Sciences to support the development of Mashonaland Central as well as capacitate people in all critical areas.

“We have acquired a 20-hectare plot where our intention is to set-up production lines even for those out of university.

“We want to have a thriving industrial hub there where innovative minds will use facilities there to come up with products that will help the agricultural sector and the local industry. It should be noted that universities are economic engines.”

One of the university’s celebrated research projects on stock feed from the Moringa Tree is now bearing fruit as farmers in Mbire and Muzarabani are taking up the initiative.

“We have more farmers coming on board on the Moringa stock feed programme,” he said. “They are being paid $4 per 2kgs of Moringa seeds and this has helped in transforming lives.

“Through education, the people’s productivity and capacity is enhanced. We should work to enhance capacities of all provinces.”

Prof Mwenje also said universities also help in changing the faces of their respective provinces through infrastructural development.

“All universities are coming up with facilities that meet international standards,” he said. “We are setting up a National Sports Academy with facilities that are up to Olympics standards. We have set aside $2 million for infrastructural development for the next two years because it is our aim to attract global talent.

“We are hosting experts in various fields from Cuba, India, USA, Japan and Ghana. These are bringing their expertise in the province.

“We have also set aside $300 000 for research in the country’s agricultural zones and we believe that our research findings will greatly help the nation in future planning.”