Pamela Shumba Chronicle Reporter
THE acting Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Dr Ignatius Chombo, has challenged polytechnics and other institutions of higher learning to continue running small business management courses for their students so that they take advantage of the Government’s indigenisation and empowerment programmes.Dr Chombo said this during a graduation ceremony of 1 041 students, who completed diplomas in different courses at Bulawayo Polytechnic on Thursday.
The graduation ceremony was held under the theme “Education and training for entrepreneurial skills development.”
“The Government has come up with youth and indigenisation policies meant to create space for young people so that they can exercise their entrepreneurial skills. I am therefore challenging polytechnics and institutions of higher learning to continue to introduce and run small business management courses.
“Entrepreneurs and skilled graduates who may not find their way in formal employment, will also benefit from the Graduate Entrepreneurship and Employment Promotion programme (GEEP) that provides funding to viable and value addition projects,” said Dr Chombo.
He said the emphasis now should be on developing entrepreneurial skills.
“In order to realise the dream of a better life for all Zimbabweans, the entrepreneurial energies of all our people, including students should be harnessed to contribute towards economic development, job creation and poverty alleviation.
“Young people are a major factor in determining the future, especially the entrepreneurial future because they represent the force required to steer and manage the rapid changes,” said Dr Chombo.
He said quality entrepreneurial education and training produced creative, innovative and risk taking graduates.
Dr Chombo said he was happy that the Government, through the cadetship programme, had managed to assist students without capacity to pay tuition fees.
The Bulawayo Polytechnic acting principal Mr Gilbert Mabasa said the vision of the institution was to provide qualitative technological and training in order to satisfy the present and future human needs of the formal and informal sectors.
“The vision of our institution is to be a leading provider of quality technological and higher education in Zimbabwe and internationally. We are determined to make Zimbabwe a regional leader in the creative use of existing knowledge, skills and local resources through quality higher and tertiary education.
“We are also committed to inculcate in our students core values of ubuntu, honour, self respect, social accountability,” said Mr Mabasa.
He said the institution would continue to strive for gender parity in student enrolment as dictated by the Government’s policy and appealed to stakeholders and community leaders to encourage women to enroll with the institution.
Mr Thethelela Ncube from the electrical engineering department was awarded the Permanent Secretary’s award for emerging overall best student.
He got $500 for his efforts.
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