GOVERNMENT has reaffirmed its commitment towards reforming the country’s education sector towards relevance in the context of rapid social and economic changes following the construction of an engineering laboratory at the Gwanda State University. The laboratory will ensure an improved innovation ecosystem through enhanced mining research and adoption of ICTs to support minerals beneficiation.

This was revealed during a tour of projects being implemented under the 100 Day Cycle Programme by the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programs, Dr Jorum Gumbo at the Gwanda State University in Insiza district, Matabeleland South this Wednesday.

One of the key sectors that is witnessing development and reformation is the education sector. Speaking during the tour, Dr Gumbo said it was important for the education sector to come up with solutions that seek to address challenges faced by the country.

“Government continues to step up efforts in establishing research infrastructure such as the Gwanda State University Engineering Laboratory for teaching, mining research and consultancy services. It is projected that the laboratory will result in an improved innovation ecosystem through enhanced mining research and adoption of ICTs to support minerals beneficiation.

Laboratory will assist in finding innovative ways of contributing to these efforts in order to curb the exportation of unprocessed mineral ores,” said Dr Gumbo. Gwanda State University Vice Chancellor Professor Doreen Moyo said the engineering laboratory and innovations complex designs took into consideration the new thrust in higher education that emphasises production of graduates that have the requisite skills and competencies for industry as well as an entrepreneurial mindset and skills for employment creation.

“The Complex is key in addressing the critical skills gap in the country and development of students with critical skills, competencies for future industry needs. This set up is therefore imperative in the realization of a knowledge-based economy which calls for excellence; relevance and agility in our education system. Matabeleland South Province is endowed with mineral wealth and there is need to provide appropriate solutions in exploration, extraction, beneficiation which leads to sustained economic affluence,’ said Prof Moyo

Construction of the Engineering Laboratory and Innovation Complex was mooted and funding to the tune of ZWL 2.2 million was disbursed by ZIMDEF in December 2020. The funding was used to develop architectural designs. The Engineering Laboratory and Innovation Complex has six laboratories, three staff offices, a computer room, a ware house, storerooms, a boardroom and ablution facilities. -@nyeve14