Tonderai Rutsito Techspot\r\nZimbabwe through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education will this year host its inaugural Education Innovation and Opportunities Conference in Harare from September 16 to 18. The theme of this year’s conference is “Growing socio-economic opportunities through quality education in the 21st Century”. This conference and expo supports the sustainable growth of quality education in Africa by harnessing the latest techniques and technologies to ensure Africa’s future role as a major global economic player.\r\n\r\nThe gathering of over 300 delegates drawn from across Africa, will bring together ministers of education from SADC, policy makers, decision-makers, service providers, investors and international agencies, together in an interactive and engaging forum.\r\n\r\nCurrently there is a major difference between what is being taught in schools and the requirements of business.\r\n\r\nThis speaks to the gap in the curriculum and assessment and the country’s socio and economic development requirements, ie ZIM-ASSET.\r\n\r\nThe Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has since embarked on a curriculum review and reform exercises to bridge this gap so that graduates come out with appropriate skills to create employment, be employed and be able to fit in society.\r\n\r\nExperts in the educational sector said that “there is a disconnection that exists between how we teach and what we now know from science on how the brain works and how people learn. The need to transform our pedagogy is more urgent now in the era of ICTs”.\r\n\r\nAccording to the ministry the learning environment, in which learners spend a great deal of their time, needs to be reflective of the environments which they will find when they go home or to work places.\r\n\r\n“It is therefore imperative that we modernise the classrooms and schools by equipping them with modern technologies,” it said.\r\n\r\nThe Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is also hosting its second conference on education. This comes on the back of the Infrastructure Conference held in December 2013 where various infrastructure providers came to support the ministry.\r\n\r\nThis year’s conference is open to participants who provide solutions in curriculum and assessment matters, teaching and training of teachers, and provisioning of school products and services.\r\n\r\nLocal service providers would have an opportunity to come in and play critical role to provide connectivity to millions of Zimbabwean schools in the rural who are still to be connected while hardware providers should take the opportunity to identify the new market where millions still need basic fixed and mobile devices to enhance their education.\r\n\r\nWith over 300 delegates expected to attend, this is an international event set to bring over 20 ministers of Education as well as Ministers of ICT drawn from across the continent of Africa.\r\n\r\nThe Education Conference and Expo support the sustainable of the quality education in Africa by harnessing the latest techniques and technologies to ensure that Africa’s future role as major global economic player is assured.\r\n\r\nFor two and a half days, delegates will be treated to presentations, thought provoking panel discussions and fruitful face-to-face meetings with Africa’s key decision makers in the Education and ICT space.\r\n\r\nThe programme will also allow for knowledge-sharing from presentations delivered by some of the world’s leading success stories in the area of Education.\r\n\r\nThe Education Conference and Expo will also give opportunity to companies and other organisations to showcase their offerings through world class exhibitions.\r\n\r\nThere will also be a closed door inter-governmental meeting for government officials only, which will allow for more intimate discussions and networking amongst peers in the Education sector.\r\n\r\nAs this is a high-level meetings based event between African government leaders and captains of industry, delegations will have opportunity to hold dedicated face to face meetings with key decision makers in the education sector.\r\n\r\nThe event will see delegates speaking on various topics which includes; the technology and innovation which is of paramount important in this digital era.\r\n\r\nInformation Communication Technology is also going to be on the agenda of discussion.\r\n\r\nBesides the above mentioned topics, the discussion will also look into issues around cost and funding of education; school infrastructure and learning environments to promote a friendly learning environment. To enhance teacher competences, the panel will deliberate on curriculum development, implementation, measurement, monitoring and evaluation.\r\n\r\nThe issue of gender inclusivity and equity in education is a topic which is expected to appeal to women since they are the ones who always cry foul when it comes to such issues.\r\n\r\nThere is also going to be a Technical vocation skill development and Life skills education during the same conversation.\r\n\r\nZimbabwe has long been recognised as having one of the highest literacy levels in Africa, with a success record of delivering quality education.\r\n\r\nIt is therefore only fitting that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education plays host to an event of this nature.