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Local and International Benchmarking of the Zimbabwe Minimum Bodies of Knowledge and Skills Workshop
July 21, 2019 @ 8:00 am – July 24, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
- 0 Background
The Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education has been mandated to harmonize the Higher Education sector in Zimbabwe. The task includes ensuring that academic programmes are aligned to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Strategic Plan 2019 to 2023, and the Zimbabwe National Vision 2030. On the agenda is the establishment of the Zimbabwe Minimum Bodies of Knowledge (MBK/S) in all academic programmes that are taught at all higher education institutions in Zimbabwe.
The process has involved all the universities in Zimbabwe, who have participated in the crafting of the Minimum Bodies of Knowledge of all the academic disciplines that are on offer at the Higher Education Institutions in Zimbabwe. The next stage is the benchmarking stage.
The principle for this nationally driven process is:
- To ensure that all programmes taught at universities in Zimbabwe have all been included in the final document on the Zimbabwe Minimum Bodies of Knowledge and Skills (MBK/S);
- To mainstream the Heritage-Based philosophy and Education 5.0 into this curriculum review process;
- To ensure that 80% of the content of each programme is covering the same basic body of knowledge conforming to the agreed MBK/S. The remaining 20% will be constituted by relevant modules of the institution’s choice to provide the unique flair of their programmes; and
- To benchmark all programmes with the best and most productive universities in the world and even surpass them.
3.0 Understanding Heritage-Based Philosophy and Education 5.0
Heritage-based philosophy of education refers to an education informed by “the environment which it seeks to transform” [The Ministry’s Strategic Document, The Doctrine]. Page 2 of the Document further states that such education “shall use cutting edge, competitive, universal scientific and technological knowledge for production of goods and services.”
The concept of Education of 5.0 recognizes that the higher and tertiary education system in Zimbabwe has been focused on three missions which are teaching, research and community service (consultancy) but to be competitive and deliver an industrialized and modernized Zimbabwe, the Ministry adopted two additional missions which are Innovation and Industrialization, making it 5 missions of Higher and Tertiary Education.
The intention of this curriculum review process as espoused in the development of the MBK/S is to re-orient and re-engineer the Zimbabwean Higher Education system to enable it to respond to the national industrialization and modernization agenda. This involves “entrepreneurializing” every discipline with a view to developing prototypes for innovation hubs culminating in patents and subsequent commercialization of goods and services.
The rationalization also includes implementation of the concept of “programme-qualification-skills-mix” which has its roots in the new philosophy of infusing “multi-intra and trans-disciplinary”(MIT) approaches to curriculum development and review. Each discipline must depart from an “all-discipline-specific” menu of modules/courses to also include “non-discipline-specific” core modules that add wider functionality to the programme competencies.
The national curriculum review should adopt a new trajectory, moving away from discipline- specificity that excludes material from other relevant disciplines, towards an approach that includes material from other disciplines which facilitates the practical application of the degree in real life. For each MBK/S developed, there should be obvious attempts to cover the full range of other disciplines relevant to the specific degree in its practical application. An example would be a degree in Psychology should include cultural elements of the people to be served by the graduates of the degree. Another example is a degree in Engineering should also include modules covering Accounting and mastery of additional international language competencies that widen the scope of marketability and functionality for the graduate.
As this approach is meant to address the vision of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, all members of Higher Education Institutions and all Zimbabwean Higher Education stakeholders are thus expected to familiarize themselves with the following Ministry publications:-
- The Doctrine;
- 2018 National Critical Skills Audit Report;
- Industrial Parks;
- Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework;
- Ministry Strategic Plan 2019 to 2023, Heritage, Education 5.0. Innovation and Industrialization;
- Priority Programmes: Ministry 2019 to 2023 for the Modernization and Industrialization of Zimbabwe through Education and Science and Technology Development; and
- Status of Projects of National Importance January 2019.
4.0 Expected Outcomes
- The final product is to be published and made available on the ZIMCHE website as a tool to harmonize higher education in Zimbabwe and to attract local and international students to our universities;
- Harmonized Higher Education Academic programmes;
- Higher Education Programme qualification mix and MIT approaches that address the National Industrialization and Modernization Agenda.