The Sunday News
BECSA polytechnic wing is set to bring to life the EDUCATION 5.0 mantra as expounded by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development as a hub of integrated and transformational training and educational solutions.
The BECSA polytechnic wing is set to accept its first intake at the same with the sister Teacher Education Department in May 2019 .
The Vice-Principal of the Polytech, Mr Wilson Warima, brings a wealth of experience to BECSA having been involved in the set up and running of local teacher education and Polytech colleges in Zimbabwe and in South Africa.
It is a no-brainer why passion is a value at BECSA as each leader interviewed exudes passion without apology.
“Our existence is a result of passion for what we do. We thrive on excellence in all our operations, underpinned by our robust Quality Management System (QMS) and strategic partnerships, making sure that we exceed our clients’ expectations,” said Mr Warima.
BECSA Poly strives to equip its learners with skills necessary for productivity and further development, thereby enabling lifelong learning.
The skills programmes are structured in such a way that the Polytechnic produces graduates who are able to produce goods and services as they learn.
At BECSA the industrialisation process starts with experiential and pragmatic training which is in sync with business environmental trends.
Failure to incorporate the business environment into technical education and training is enmity to innovation and creativity.
It is an open secret that the nation is currently faced with a number of challenges such as high unemployment rate, a wide skills gap (38 percent skills vs 96 percent literacy), lack of adequate, modern and appropriate technology for skills training and development.
There is also a shortage of appropriately qualified staff to engineer and implement innovative ideas in skills training and development due to labour flight.
BECSA Poly is breaking the norm by inviting post high school students and enrolling them into skills courses for operations than management.
The entry qualifications in most BECSA Polytech programmes will be open entry, giving a second chance to students thrown out by our education System which has been academic focused and which fortunately is been renewed and sharpened by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development.
The BECSA Polytech student, just like the teacher education student benefit from the blended learning which enables its learners to access tutorials through e-learning complemented by modular and face-to-face instruction.
This allows the lecturers/ tutors’ flexibility in allocating more time for learners to gain the much needed practical experience.
In order to maximise use of contemporary technologies BECSA has strategic partnerships with local and international sister institutions both public and private and relevant industries.
This synergy is beneficial for technology, skills and knowledge transfer through human capital exchange of both training staff and learners.
The Polytech is also in the process or acquiring state-of-the-art training equipment for all its programmes so that the goal of narrowing the skills gap can be realised.
BECSA will ensure, through integration of learning programmes, that its graduates will have the requisite skills to graduate with a business model, ready to start their own businesses as they will be able to test their ability to produce and market goods while still in college.
BECSA Poly has short course programmes designed to skill, up-skill and refresh practitioners in their respective disciplines to ensure that they remain relevant in the dynamic world of technology advancements.
Programmes on offer include but are not limited to information technology, motor mechanic, auto electrics and business related courses.
The exciting part of the double barrelled college is the internal synergy that exists between the teacher education and the Polytech departments where the student teacher will be expected to cross over for some practical modules where a skill will be developed in the first year of training.
The student teachers will work in groups to carry out a profitable project supervised by the Polytech staff for a coursework mark.
The learnt skill will in turn be expected to be practised by the individual student while on teaching practice during the second year and successful implementation will be graded as part of the Teaching Practice mark as partial fulfilment of the diploma in education qualification.
Charles Moyo the Head of IT at BECSA graduated at Nust with a BSc in Information Technology but because of his passion to develop a well rounded teacher and apply ICTs in the Education space went on to enrol at Hillside Teachers’ College and graduated with a teaching diploma.
He says his decision was frowned upon by people who did not understand his strategy. Charles is excited to champion this dream that he has always treasured and said:
“At BECSA there is a strong belief that the only change needed in teacher education, technical and vocational training is to change the way we change, in terms of innovation and creativity . . . most change has been limited by conventional thought and patterns.”
The college will open its doors in May 2019 for students in the engineering, commerce, applied sciences and hospitality disciplines.