ZSC impressed with NUST’s response to national challenges

THE Zimbabwe Staff College (ZSC) has called on the country’s security, social and economic players to work closely together to guarantee national security.

This emerged yesterday following a visit to the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) by ZSC students.

ZSC students toured the NUST Innovation Hub and the sanitiser plant as they sought to appreciate how the Bulawayo-based university was contributing economic growth and in turn national security.

NUST revealed how it has been involved in national projects including testing for Covid-19, production of sanitisers and how the university has been contracted to conduct DNA tests in national disasters.

In an interview following the tour of the University, ZSC team leader at the NUST’s visit, Lieutenant-Colonel Moses Dzimano said his team was impressed with how NUST was responding to national challenges.

He said they wanted their students to have an appreciation of how NUST is contributing to national security.

“From the human capital development effort that the university is doing, we wanted to see how much it is adding to the national security.

This is the major reason why we are here. So that our students then appreciate that the university also exists to make sure that as a country we go forward. And how do we go forward? By imparting knowledge that will improve the livelihoods of our people and at the end of the day as the military we will then be able to guarantee national security that we are supposed to be guaranteeing to our country,” he said.

“The issue of national security is not a one player issue but there are other players that come in. Yes, we might come in as the military to guarantee military security but there are other players that are also supposed to come in and guarantee the people of Zimbabwe economic security, there are other players who are also supposed to come in and guarantee social security. So, in terms of national security, we are looking at all those components and link them to the military security that we offer as the ZSC.”

Lt-Col Dzimano said he was impressed with NUST’s Covid-19 response.

“From our assessment, the projects are wonderful, we were looking at the sanitiser manufacturing plant, the country is struggling with Covid-19 and it is causing a lot of human insecurities to the people of Zimbabwe.

“And the effort that they are putting is going a long way to ensure that as a country we curtail the effects of the pandemic. The same applies to the issue of Innovation Hub, I think this is the right direction that the country is taking. As a country we are not supposed to be relying on outsiders but we need to do things on our own and I think we are impressed as Defence Forces on the efforts the university is doing.”

He said his team was also proceeding to Hwange to assess what Zimbabwe Power Company as well as Zambezi Coal Gas were doing to contribute to national security.

In his welcome remarks, NUST Vice-Chancellor Professor Mqhele Dlodlo said the university has not allowed the Covid-19 to derail its plans of implementing Education 5.0 of producing goods and services.

“Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, the university has covered a lot of ground in implementing its strategic plan in line with the demands of Education 5.0, whose five pillars are research, teaching, community service, innovation and industrialisation. At NUST, the transformation of our education curriculum is already bearing fruits as our students and academics are developing innovative solutions that drive socio-economic development.

“Just recently, Monday the 15 March 2021 to be precise, one of our student clubs, Hult Prize Club operating as Farmhut, made it into the top 10 selected teams in the global virtual competition, earning a start-up grant of US$100 000,” said Prof Dlodlo.

“We say Amhlophe! Makorokoto! Congratulations! to our future entrepreneurial leaders. Last year, another group of innovative NUST students represented the country at the global Enactus universities competition hosted virtually from the Netherlands. In response to the impact of Covid-19, the students designed a platform to assist market vendors and small-scale farmers to transact their business online during the lockdown restrictions. It is evident that the university is producing future entrepreneurs and innovators that the country needs to drive its Vision 2030.”

He said the opening of a stroke unit at Mpilo Central Hospital was testimonial that the university was responding to community needs.

“Also, some of our engineers and scientists are part of the national taskforce working on locally producing motor vehicle number plates using local materials to save the country foreign currency and significantly reduce the selling price,” he said.

Prof Dlodlo said Nust’s involvement in turning Ekusileni Medical Centre into a specialist research and teaching hospital is also part of the university’s efforts to address national challenges. – Chronicle.

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