The Director for Higher Education Programmes (HEPs) in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Dr Dennis Murekachiro, visited the Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education (ZIMCHE) on the 12th of May 2022 as part of efforts aimed at gaining insight into the operations of the ZIMCHE. The visit also sought to establish linkages and ways through which the Higher Education Programmes department can assist the ZIMCHE to ensure that it continues to effectively deliver on its mandate.
In his remarks, Dr Murekachiro said in line with the National Development Strategy (NDS) 1 and Vision 2030, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development had declared 2022 a year of action. He noted that everyone has a part to play in the drive to modernise and industrialise the nation through the heritage-based Education 5.0 philosophy.
“In alignment with NDS 1 as well as Vision 2030, we are driving for the modernisation and industrialisation of our nation, and this calls for action, action and action. The Ministry has declared 2022 a year of action, a year of running, and this calls for complete action from every individual,” he said.
The Director further emphasised the need to heighten cooperation between the ZIMCHE and his Department.
“As an arm of the Ministry, we want to work together to ensure that the quality of education within our institutions is top-notch, and I believe this is where we find much common ground,” said Dr Murekachiro.
Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education, Chief Executive Officer, Professor Kuzvinetsa P. Dzvimbo expressed gratitude to Dr Murikachiro and his team for visiting and engaging with members of the ZIMCHE to get a first-hand perspective of the organisation.
During his brief to the Director, Professor Dzvimbo outlined the ZIMCHE’s mandate and critical functions. He also highlighted how digital changes in the higher education landscape accelerated by the advent of COVID-19 have also meant that the ZIMCHE has had to evolve to play a more critical role in the determination and maintenance of online standards for teaching, learning, examinations, and research.
“When we were established, I don’t think our forefathers or mothers had an idea that e-learning or online teaching and learning would be a key area in our higher education system. But now, online teaching and learning, online assessment and examinations are key areas in the work that universities do. By that very fact, one of ZIMCHE’s key areas is to look at the quality assurance of online teaching and learning, online assessment and examinations of students in our institutions”, said Prof. Dzvimbo.
As part of his inaugural visit, Dr Murekachiro, who was accompanied by the Deputy Director, Ms Maria Adriano and Mrs Nerissa Samukange an Officer in the HEPs department, met with members of the ZIMCHE Executive Management, who apprised him of the functions of their respective directorates and units.