Education and national critical skills: Part Seven

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IN line with Zimbabwe’s vision 2030, the applied arts and humanities sector should leverage on the multi-dimensional creativity of individuals — artistic creativity, entrepreneurship and technological innovation — to create new economic value.
It comprises institutions and industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent development which have a potential for job and wealth creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property and service delivery.
This cluster is driven by a connection of arts, business and technology ideas which should be given an enabling environment for support.
In order for Zimbabwe to have full economic benefit from the arts and humanity sector, it requires the following critical skills:
l Arts and Humanities — skills that specialise in ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, visual and performing arts.
These disciplines explore, share and recreate expressions of the human experience.
l Law — skills concerned with the binding rules of conduct meant to enforce justice and prescribe duty or obligation and derived largely from custom or formal enactment by a ruler or legislature.
The laws carry with them the power and authority of the enactor, with associated penalties for failure or refusal to obey.
The existence of just three law schools in Zimbabwe has not significantly contributed to alleviate the critical skills deficits in this sector.
There is need to capacitate existing law schools and expand the existence of law schools to other institutes of higher learning.
The applied arts and humanities cluster was dominated by skills which were less competitive on the global market and mostly redundant.
This is because the nature of available skills is concentrated more on analogue technologies, instead of digital.
Therefore, there is need to review curricula mainstreaming emerging and current digital technologies to improve the quality of creative arts outputs; 3D printing and audio-visual filming productions.
There is need for focused prioritised training of creative arts specialists in countries that have best creative arts automated training facilities while the nation builds its own capacities locally.
Institutions should establish world class creative arts tourism exhibition parks that promote cutting edge creative arts, artefacts and services at affordable costs.
The applied arts and humanities cluster has the innovative capacity to produce new Zimbabwe-branded products and services capable of adding internationally recognised aesthetic value through the exploitation of indigenous knowledge in our visuals as well as performing arts and cultural artifacts.
There is need to develop skills as well as innovative capacity for enhanced entrepreneurial and commercial skills to artistes and other service providers in the applied arts and humanities cluster to enable the artistes/creators and other service providers in the cluster to add value to their products.
New advances in science and technology bring about technologies that can be exploited substantially in virtually all sectors of the economy.
There is need to adopt an innovative approach focusing at obtaining skills in those aspects that are likely to have immediate relevance in addressing challenges in our national development schema.
Emerging technologies in disciplines of biotechnology, ICTs, space sciences and nanotechnology have already started influencing global economic systems and it is imperative for Zimbabwe to have robust skills development strategies in these areas.
Zimbabwe, today, does not have adequate geospatial science and space science capability. Geospatial science and space Science is the science of the future, critical to Zimbabwe’s attainment of its Vision 2030 — that of becoming a middle-income economy.
Zimbabwe needs to plan for its future needs through recognising and considering opportunities offered by space through research in geospatial sciences and earth observation through guidance by the second Science, Ttchnology and Innovation Policy of March 2012.
The engineering and technology cluster identified that Zimbabwe should establish a National Geospatial and Space Agency to streamline aerospace and outer space use through the provision of a regulatory framework that guides coordination and collaborations on geospatial and space activities with other nations.
To this end, skills in geospatial science and earth observation, space science, space engineering, space operations and satellite launches are in critical demand for the advancement of Zimbabwe’s modernisation and industrialisation agenda.
More specifically, for Zimbabwe to attain the vision of a middle-income nation by 2030, we need to develop critical skills in geospatial and space science knowledge for purposes of:
– developing the agriculture sector;
– enhancing mineral exploration;
– enhancing enhancing energy development;
– improving disaster management;
– advancing geospatial intelligence, weather and climate research;
– enhancing provision of water and health services;
– advancing geospatial analytics and remote Sensing;
– enhancing facility and critical infrastructure management;
Additionally, for space exploration capability, Zimbabwe’s current and future development requires critical skills in planetary science, astrophysics, space weather, space physics, geospatial analytics and remote sensing.
Furthermore, most of the Sustainable Development Goals are achievable using geospatial and space science technologies therefore development of these skills is urgent for Zimbabwe.
The future of the world economy is in space.
Thus, Zimbabwe needs this capability.
Biotechnology is any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.
New and diverse sciences such as genomics, recombinant gene techniques, applied immunology, and development of pharmaceutical therapies and diagnostic test have evolved from biotechnology.

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