By Josephine Mugiyo
The chancellor of Zimbabwe Open University, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has conferred degrees to more than1300 graduands at a ceremony where the late national hero, Father Emmanuel Francis Ribeiro was also honoured posthumously.
The Zimbabwe Open University class of 2021 comprised 737 females out of a total of 1368.
The university’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Gundani said as the university focuses on human capital development, they are mindful of the goal of ensuring accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
“Both council and management are appreciative of the importance and value that your government accords to the development and capacitation of key national institutions, which include universities, to create an enabling environment critical for economic development,” Professor Gundani said.
Professor Gundani bemoaned how the high cost of learning gadgets is affecting open and distance learning highlighting the need for government to consider a tax exemption policy on these gadgets.
“These factors limit the quality of learning and teaching and indeed the graduate we produce.”
The vice chancellor also drew attention to the need for tertiary institutions to work with communities within which they operate, noting that this spurred ZOU to enter a partnership with the Angel of Hope Foundation
“True to form the partnership with the First Lady’s Angel of Hope Foundation has added gravitas and glamour to ZOU brand,” he noted.
The graduation ceremony also saw the conferment of doctor of philosophy degree in African theology on the late national hero, Father Emmanuel Francis Ribeiro.
Among the graduands were three individuals living with disabilities namely; Mokhumi Valela, who suffers from acute cerebral pulsy, Doreen Banda, who is wheelchair bound and Barbara Mapuranga, who is visually impaired.
The graduation ceremony was held in line with the country’s COVID-19 protocols.