Sithabile A Ndlela and Isheunesu Tirivangani
Kwekwe Polytechnic has stretched its wings to Gokwe through the opening of a new campus, with its “Gokwe Pfacha” motto, in a bid to transform the state of education in Gokwe, and to decentralize education to peri-urban areas, it can be established.
Gokwe has for a long time been known across the country because of the adage ‘usaita semunhu abva Gokwe’ (do not act or behave as someone from Gokwe). People from Gokwe have been seen as being backward in terms of development but thanks to the developers and institutions such as Kwekwe Polytechnic who are pushing hard for the development of the town the adage has disappeared.
To help remove this adage Kwekwe Polytechnic has decided to bring the technical skills teaching in Gokwe with a mission to provide quality technical, vocational, and technopreneurs education and training that is employable. This will empower the residents in the town who thought they would never step into a technical institution’s door.
While delivering his speech Dr. Evans Musara, the Kwekwe Polytechnic Principal said that Kwekwe Polytechnic as a public institution is mandated to drive a national call by providing quality technical, vocational, and technopreneur education hence the reason for stretching its wings to Gokwe.
“The decision came as a result of a careful, thorough, and diligent needs analysis survey carried out by my institution in 2021. The results which we obtained from a qualitative and quantitative analysis of data gathered revealed that when it comes to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Gokwe, as big as it is, did not have an institution of Higher National Diplomas. This implied that there was a skills training gap.
“We remember that Gokwe is also part of Zimbabwe, in fact, home to some of the biggest constituencies in the country and thus all other national aspirations taking place elsewhere in the country should also find their fulfillment in Gokwe.
“It is the Bedrock of the Second Republic to see an Upper Middle-Income economy and society by 2030. In order to achieve this, various fora, including the Ministry to which my institution belongs have been challenged to play their part. Ours is to prepare the much-needed skilled human capital resources for our industry and commercials and that is our primary objective in Gokwe.
“We are so serious and determined in implementing Education 5.0 as plans are already underway to establish an Incubation Hub in Gokwe. This will be the center at which technical innovative concepts will be naturally developed. From there, we will talk of an industrial Park, whereby innovative ideas from the incubation hubs will be turned into tangible goods and products. This is what will then bring industries again in Gokwe,” he said.
Kwekwe Polytechnic Advisory Council Chairperson, Dr. Victor Wasara said that the essence of these government-authored policies is to work towards technical advancement which should see a growth in the industry.
“I can assure you that the envisaged incubation hub and industrial park is going to be a reality here in Gokwe, bearing in mind that the advisory council I lead comprises of captains of industry, commerce, and law, hence their vast exposure and experience, coupled with your maximum coordinator can place Gokwe not only on the spotlight but on the world map.
“A number of youth policies in our country are lobbying and advocating for the captain and empowerment of youths through a number of initiatives such as the one we are about to bring in Gokwe,” said Dr. Wasara.
Speaking with this publication on the sidelines of the event Chief Njelele was over the moon with this development brought by Kwekwe Poly in his hometown.
“We are very grateful and welcome the move by Kwekwe polytechnic. This will create local employment and the quality of life and the standard of living for the people of Gokwe,” said Chief Njelele.
Gokwe Deputy Mayor Charity Mangwani expressed satisfaction over the new development and said this will allow youths from Gokwe to enroll at a nearby technical school cheaply.
“We are pleased by this development done by Kwekwe Polytechnic because everyone with five ‘o’ levels can be enrolled at their institution. Education is everyone’s right including us here. Parents can now afford to send their children at the local campus. Kwekwe poly has helped us to cut costs because it was expensive to send our children to institutions that are far but now it has been made much easier,” she said.
Youths in Gokwe also welcomed the new development and said going to a technical institution has become a bit cheaper for them now that they will have to walk a few distances to school other than raising funds to go and look for accommodation in Kwekwe.
“We are so happy that Kwekwe Polytechnic is opening a campus here in Gokwe. This is a great development that will allow us to navigate to a technical school cheaply other than having to sources funds to go to far institutions which is costly for most of us. With this development we are certainly looking forward to enrolling with Kwekwe Poly-Gokwe campus,” said a youth identified as President Mache.