DSC6134 300x226A decorated Tshwane University of Technology professor has called for a material and significant shift in the design of the education system which will mould and produce job creators instead of job seekers.

Speaking at the third instalment of the  WSU Research and Innovation Day which took place in Mthatha on Thursday 5 December, Professor Mammo Muchie said universities need to premise their epistemology on the principles of Indigenous Knowledge Systems; work-integrated learning; action-based learning; problem-solving learning; and project-design learning in order to mould a graduate capable of functioning in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

“There is a critical and fundamental problem in the way universities are teaching students because the job market is simply rejecting them. My position is that we shouldn’t just teach for the sake of issuing qualifications, but produce individuals skilled in creation, invention, innovation, entrepreneurship, and venture-creation,” said Muchie.

Because of its pervasive nature, Muchie said society is at a critical juncture where it needs to hastily decide how the technology that invariably accompanies 4IR will be used to maximise beneficiation of the country’s minerals, raw materials and agriculture for the benefit of the citizenry.

WSU Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof Rob Midgley also participated in the day’s festivities, giving a brief account to conference delegates about the state of research at the institution.

“As of 2015 to date, WSU has increased its research by a significant 145%. Though substantial, the number still remains very low in the broader scheme of things. With all this improvement must come caution however. Researchers must ensure they publish with reputable publications and avoid unfamiliar publications,” said Midgley.

He said the university was working hard to solidify the base of its academic plan and aspirations, starting with the advertising of all professorial vacancies that currently exist within the institution.

“We’ve also made numerous doctoral appointments when it comes to lecturers. We are trying hard in getting the skeleton of our academic enterprise to shape up. Though we might not be a research university, we must start entrenching and premising our academic enterprise on research,” Madgley added.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research, Prof Rushiella Songca, implored all lecturers to start participating in research in pursuit of their PhD qualifications.

“We need to work towards creating an enabling environment by providing incentives; incentives recognising excellence; infrastructure labs; libraries; commercialisation and technology transfer. We also need to focus on our postgraduate students and produce quality lecturers not just for WSU, but for other top universities in the country and around the world,” concluded Songca.

By Thando Cezula