Link education to economy-President

Sunday Mail Reporters
\nZimbabwe should consolidate its broad-based and inclusive education by creating a qualitative system aligned to its economic needs, President Mugabe said yesterday. At the burial of Zanu-PF Politburo member and respected educationist Dr Sikhanyiso “Duke” Ndlovu at the National Heroes Acre, he said only a few graduates were sufficiently skilled to leverage key industrial trades.

\n

Lavishing Dr Ndlovu with praises for his major role in promoting literacy and numeracy, President Mugabe indicated that building on the country’s education achievements remained a priority.

\n

“At Independence, we turned to educationists like Dr Ndlovu to show the way. They did, which is why today we stand as a shining beacon in broad-based, inclusive education on the continent. “The real challenge is now to give that education a qualitative leap so it speaks directly to the needs of our economy. Yes, we have many graduates, but we have few skilled graduates, who have found exposure and gathered experience in the service of industrial trades that power our economy. That is our challenge as we move into the future.”

\n

The President said Dr Ndlovu had set a good example by establishing the Zimbabwe Distance Education College – a chain of institutions across the country. He said the national hero distinguished himself as a committed and humble cadre during the liberation struggle, and a sharp mind during his service in both Government and Zanu-PF.

\n

“I made him minister in my Government in many ministries, principally those of education and information. He excelled, distinguishing himself as a man of ideas.“It showed in Government, in the party, and indeed in the Press where he distinguished himself as a fierce but a conscious columnist. The bedrock of his ideas, values, was the African struggle.” He added, “And here is one big lesson to the current generation of educationists.

\n

There is no education which is value-free. All human education derives from or has to be steeped in values, experience and aspirations of a people, if it is to avoid being irrelevant. “It must confirm our being Africans, and challenge the denial of our being by contrary theories. This is what Ndlovu strongly believed.”

\n

Dr Ndlovu (78) died last Tuesday after having stroked a week earlier. He was among the pioneers of nationalist resistance in the then Southern Rhodesia and was detained at Gonakudzingwa with liberation icons like Vice-President Joshua Nkomo and Josiah Chinamano. He headed a programme to educate cadres during the war, and continued promoting literacy after Independence through ZDECO.

\n

Dr Ndlovu served in various capacities in Government, among them Information and Publicity Minister and Deputy Higher and Tertiary Education Minister. Present at his burial were Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Cabinet ministers, legislators and senior Zanu-PF officials, among others.