By Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has been installed as the First Chancellor of Gwanda State University, amid affirmations that the Second Republic is determined to grow the education sector as the bedrock for modernisation and industrialisation of the country.
Having started off as a college under the National University of Science and Technology, Gwanda State University (GSU) was officially established as a stand-alone university in 2016.
This Friday, the university, which offers degrees in the Faculties of Engineering and Environment, Natural Resources Management and Agriculture as well as Business Sciences and Management, witnessed its first graduation on site.
Situated in rural Filabusi at the decommissioned Epoch Mine, the institution of higher learning has opened doors for the locals in Matebeleland South to pursue academic qualifications.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa was installed as the GSU Chancellor, after which he then installed Professor Doreen Moyo as Vice Chancellor.
Plans for the establishment of university were mooted as far back as the 90’s, and President Mnangagwa paid tribute to leaders who played a role in the start-up.
“This is a historic day for Matebeleland south province which now has a university to service the young boys and girls from surrounding communitie.?I pay special tribute to luminaries such as the late national heroes , Vice President John Landa Nkomo and Professor Phineas Makhurane as well as our veteran nationalist uMama Angeline Masuka among other luminaries who were instrumental during the conceptualisation of this university,” he said.
The Second Republic is spearheading development in various sectors, including education and the aim is to ensure every corner of the country is not left out.
“The establishment of Gwanda State University is the culmination of a bold policy of having at least one state university in each of the country’s ten provinces. This is echoed by our quest to realise development that leaves no one and no place behind. It is also an acknowledgment that education is a right that should be accessed by our citizenry no matter where one lives,” added the President.
A robust education system is key to economic growth and the Second Republic will grow the sector as enunciated by President Mnangagwa, “To this end , the Second Republic is determined to grow the higher and tertiary education sector as the bedrock for the scientific, technological and innovation driven modernisation and industrialisation in our countr. I challenge the community in Matebeleland to enroll their children at this university.”
The newly installed Vice Chancellor, Professor Doreen Moyo is ready for the task to grow the university, while Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira noting thatvwithin a year significant progress will be made in building infrastructure.
The country’s Education 5.0 model continues to bear fruit as evidenced by a number innovations being churned out by students at various universities.