GOVERNMENT says 70 percent of pupils who sit for Ordinary Level examinations fail to garner five subjects, including Mathematics, Science and English making it necessary to adopt a skills-based training system as a way of creating employment for them.
Addressing a graduation ceremony at Mupfure Self-Help College in Chegutu recently, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Professor Jonathan Moyo said the figure of those that fail basic education was worrying.
“Our country is proud as we have always ensured that we are in the first position (in Africa) as far as literacy is concerned. We have never run below 92 percent most of the time and our literacy rate has hovered around 96 percent,” he said.
“Many thanks to our excellent system of basic education in our country, but good as it is, it is also true that at least 70 percent of Ordinary Levels do not achieve a minimum of five ‘O’ levels with English, Science and Mathematics to be able to proceed to tertiary and higher education.
“That is a very significant part of our population. Ordinarily, not less than 310 000 students sit for the examinations and 70 percent of that number does not proceed for tertiary and higher education.
Prof Moyo said it was against this background that his ministry was considering the transformation of more colleges into industrial training centres. He said this would ensure the education sector meets the country’s quest for industrialisation and modernisation.
He said three colleges, namely Danhiko, St Peter’s Kubatana and Mupfure Self-Help College, would be transformed into industrial training and trade testing centres.
They join the two existing industrial training centres — which are the Msasa Industrial Training Centre in Harare and the Westgate Industrial Training Centre in Bulawayo.
Mupfure Self-Help College principal Mr Cletos Ncube said he was in full support of the move adopted by Government. He said Mupfure had already begun partnerships with industry.
“The college is engaged in partnerships with private and public sectors to enhance training and self-sufficiency. “The college is currently in partnership with Bata Shoe Company for the production of shoes which will be sold to Bata shops.
“I am pleased to announce that the college has made approximately 9 000 pairs of shoes for the year 2015 and raised an income of about $23 000,” he said.
Mr Ncube said other training partners were Talana Farm, T & G Vegetables and Botswana Okavango programme on which students from Botswana are trained at the institution. herald