MASVINGO RURAL-The country’s pioneer distance learning institution, Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) has held its first international conference on heritage learning at Great Zimbabwe Hotel near the Great Zimbabwe Monuments.

The conference which was attended by representatives from all universities in the country and some from the region ran under the theme ‘Heritage future of Africa and the global community’, Dr Happinos Marufu one of the facilitators told The Midweek Watch.

The three day conference ended on Friday last week.

The heritage conference ran under sub themes meant to enhance education 5.0 a migration from 3.0 where industrialization and innovation have been added to the traditional, teaching, research and community service.

Dr Marufu also said the conference was meant to encourage heritage-based learning that looks to the natural resources locally available and seeks to develop industries around these resources that result in value added products that are ready for market and export.

“A number of sub themes were discussed among them heritage education, natural heritage, entrepreneurship, legal frameworks, public healthy and many more. We also based each theme in close relation with system 5.0 where we are saying culture and heritage should be promoted in order to promote national development. Our natural and cultural resources are key to development because if look at other countries for example china they are well developed because they have invested on that.  We want to demystify colonialism and utilize our resources by producing employers not employees,” said Dr Marufu.

It was also agreed that a follow up second conference will be held next year to reinforce on the resolutions and measure progress on education 5.0.

Participants were drawn from various disciplines as heritage education is anchored on the natural resources that the country has which require value addition with every department included.

He also revealed that the university is going to introduce another department called culture and heritage which will spearhead the conference’s goals.

The Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science, Technology and Development, Raymore Machingura stood in for Minister Professor Dr Amon Murwira who could not make it to the conference.

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