April 17, 2024

Potraz teams up with RCZ to drive research, innovation

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Rumbidzai Mushonga 

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) and the Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) yesterday unveiled a transformative collaboration aimed at driving research and innovation in Zimbabwe.

Addressing stakeholders in Harare yesterday, Potraz director general Dr Gift Machengete said research was critical in bridging the gap between the “world of is” and the “world of ought”.

“Whenever I hear the word research, my mind races to a philosophy that I find amusing and that is the distinction between what is and what ought to be, the distinction between reality and what we want reality to be, the distinction between the world of ought and the world of is,” he said.

“The ‘world of ought’ refers to the realm of values, desires, and ought-to-be’s. On the other hand, the ‘world of is’ pertains to the realm of facts, empirical observations, and objective reality.

“It deals with what exists, what can be observed or measured, and how things function in the physical world.”

The Second Republic is promoting research and innovation, which it says is central to the attainment of Vision 2030 of an empowered upper middle-income society, hence investment in Innovation Hubs at tertiary institutions.

Tertiary institutions such as the Midlands State University are now making money from products developed at innovation hubs.

Dr Machengete said it was critical to integrate both perspectives in research endeavours across scientific, social, and humanistic fields.

Acknowledging the vital role of policymakers and implementers in translating research findings into actionable policies and practices, Dr Machengete expressed gratitude to the RCZ and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education for their valuable collaboration in conducting the research projects.

Digital technologies, he added, have the transformative power in empowering educators, safeguarding children and building a brighter future for Zimbabwe.

Acting RCZ executive director Mrs Rudo Tamangani said research plays a transformative role in society because through research, people get to understand more about the world and how to live in it sustainably.

“It is from research that we are able to create new technologies, enabling us to live fulfilling lives. The RCZ carries the mandate of research promotion, coordination and supervision.

“The event we are gathered for here represents efforts of the collaboration between Council and Potraz.

“Allow me to appreciate Potraz for living up to their word, thus ensuring the coming to fruition of this collaboration.

“Research findings show that collaborations are perceived as one of the important components of academic and professional development. Together we can achieve more,” said Mrs Tamangani.

National university of Technology (NUST) research uptake manager, Mr David Dabengwa, said teachers were proficient in digital technologies and could effectively impart this knowledge both inside and outside the classroom.

“We are coordinating the start of the assessment of digital literacy skills in secondary schools of Zimbabwe.

“Our key finding is that the teachers are at an intermediate level of digital literacy skills,” said Mr Dabengwa.

This, he said, means local teachers are able to comprehend digital technologies and impart that knowledge to the audience.

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