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'4 700 holders of doctrates in Zimbabwe'

by Staff reporter
25 Oct 2022 at 06:02hrs | Views
THE country has more than 650 000 people who are holders of higher and tertiary education qualification with diploma holders constituting a majority of the number, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) has revealed.

Nearly 4 700 are holders of doctorates.

Most professionals study humanities or social sciences programmes while a few take up natural sciences.

It has also been established that there are more females studying courses inclined to social sciences while males rule the roost in natural sciences.

Social sciences is the study of how humans interact with each other through courses such as economics, political science, psychology and sociology.

On the other hand, natural sciences explore the world's environment and can be understood through learning subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics where use of data and experiments is employed.

According to ZimStat 2022 Population and Housing Census preliminary report on education released on Tuesday, Zimbabwe's literacy rate stands at 94 percent.

Every Zimbabwean who is 15 years of age and attended school up to Grade Three is classified as literate.

ZimStat recorded that Harare topped the national literacy rate at 98 percent followed by Bulawayo at 97 percent while Matabeleland North has the least number of literate people with 91 percent.

According to the ZimStat report there are 663 320 persons with tertiary education qualification and 342 975 of them being males.

It stated that 185 362 were diploma holders, 105 993 have Bachelor-Honours Degree, 105 654 Bachelor General Degree while master degree holders are 48 447. There are only 4 772 doctorate holders.

ZimStat noted that 90 974 have National Foundation Certificates, 61 108 have Higher National Diploma while 46 115 have skilled worker class 2 certificates and 8 151 are holders of postgraduate diploma and certificates.

The statistics agency reported that 6  742 are holders of skilled worker Class 3 and 4.

"The major fields of specialisation as indicated by the number of persons specialising in the respective disciplines were Business, Administration and Law (154 742 persons), Education (141 184 persons) and Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction, (109 238)," read the report.

"Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics were the least, with 14 843 persons specialising in them. There were different preferences in fields of specialisation between males and female."

For males, the main field of specialisation was Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction constituting 25, 2 percent of the total while for females, Education was the main field of specialisation with 27, 6 percent of the total.

The report stated that 34 081 pursued journalism and social services while 42 414 were in the health sector.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science, Innovation and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira said the report is in sync with the National Critical Skills Audit that his ministry undertook in 2018.

He said the skills audit showed that while there is less than 10 percent of citizens studying natural sciences, there is an excess of 121 percent in the social sciences field.

"The report is consistent with the national critical skills audit and we have been talking about this on several occasions in the past five years. We are in the process of correcting that although there is no problem in having more graduates in the social sciences field," said Prof Murwira.

"But to move the nation forward we have to innovate that is why we have been building innovation hubs as we move to address that situation."

Since 2018 State universities have been constructing innovation hubs to drive knowledge driven nation building.
Prof Murwira said there is also a need to increase doctorate graduates.

He said while the whole nation can study towards getting degrees, what is important is to study programmes that contribute to the country's development.

Meanwhile, the report shows that there are 6, 8 million pupils and students in the country's schools and universities between the age groups of four and 24 years.

Source - The Chronicle