… females making their mark on primary education
MASVINGO – The 33rd Masvingo Teachers' College graduation and prize giving day was held in a celebratory mood on Friday last week, with female students once again forming the largest number of graduates.
The graduating class of this year had a total of 1 041 students of which 754 were female and 287 were male.
Of a total of 453 students who trained in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme, 396 were female and 57 were male, a situation which highlights the important role that women play in moulding young brains and laying the earliest intellectual foundations of children.
The general course had a total of 588 graduands with 258 female and 230 male. Since its formation in 1981, the college has so far trained 11 455 teachers, 6092 of them being female while 5 363 are male.
The 2017 graduation and prize giving ceremony ran under the theme 'Embracing Technology for the Promotion of Innovative Teaching'.
The deputy minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Dr Godfrey Gandawa, who was the guest of honour, said the ministry's endeavour was to produce graduates who are creative, knowledgeable and innovative with ICT skills.
"The teaching fraternity remains dominated by females and as such teachers' colleges should apply hybrid learning that demonstrates a blend of different methods, technologies and resources to improve student learning.
"Teachers' Colleges must invest in ICTs for pedagogy. The use of ICT in education and training has become a priority but few have achieved progress," said Dr Gandawa.
He said colleges need to do more than just change their curriculum to embrace the effective use of ICT in education and training.
"I am yet to see a teachers' college with a fully fletched e-learning facility, student online assessment and a comprehensive e-library. Teacher training curriculum must now include educational data mining and big data for e-learning.
"There must be new innovations in teaching and e-learning that facilitate augmented learning, adaptive learning, web-based learning, activity based learning and project based learning," said Dr Gandawa.
In his speech, Masvingo Teachers College principal Benson Mutambudzi revealed that the college has adopted a technology-inclined approach in line with the government's Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering (Stem) programme.
"The college fully supports the government/ministry thrust to industrialise and modernise through stemitising the curriculum. In line with current trends towards the promotion of science subjects, we have moved from offering environmental science to biology and chemistry with effect from this year," said Mutambudzi.
He also said the chemistry and biology laboratories had been refurbished and modernised while work on the physics lab was in progress.
"The college has also embarked on an on-going process of procuring relevant equipment for all practical subjects like PES and HE," he said.education