By Farai Matiashe

Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira has challenged educationists to embrace the Education 5.0 model aimed at producing students who are innovative to transform the economy towards the achievement of Agenda 2030.

Traditionally, Zimbabwe’s education system had three missions of teaching, research and community outreach.

The purpose of its design focused on producing a worker and not an industrialist.

The new model embraces innovation and industrialisation, which could enable education institutions in the country to produce students who can create jobs for themselves as well as for others.

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“We have now conceptualised a new augmented model that allows us to move from the idea-to-product by adding innovation and industrialisation to the traditional tripartite mission of teaching, research and community outreach,” Murwira said at a Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) annual conference in Harare yesterday.

“What we have found out is that no matter how much we are able to calculate the most complicated equation, as long as we are in a wrong design (Education 3.0), we will and cannot industrialise and modernise,” Murwira said.

“But when we calculate within the right framework (Education 5.0), industrialisation will happen.”

Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul Mavima said Education 5.0 was the key to transforming Zimbabwe’s economy.

“Our teachers are the fundamental factors to ensure the human capital that is needed to take us towards the Agenda 2030. We must act fast. (Much) of our problem is productivity-centred,” he said.

“We want innovations. We want people who can come up with businesses to help solve these problems. Teachers are critical. Our teachers need to be capacitated.”

He said his ministry was in solidarity with the teachers in their endeavour to negotiate for better salaries from their employer.

“We should motivate and also bring confidence in them to help us achieve Agenda 2030. We are advancing together with them to the Public Service Commission to improve their standard of living,” Mavima said.

In an interview on the sidelines of the conference, Zimta chief executive Sifiso Ndlovu said the annual indaba was meant to discuss issues affecting teachers that are acting as barriers to the transformation of the economy.

“We are discussing if the teachers’ condition in the classroom is favourable? The size of the classroom and the teacher-students ratio. These are issues which we will take to government to say let us address,” he said.