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A Conversation with University Examination Papers

When I wrote and published A conversation with my teacher I hinted a part two of that was on the way. Here it is!

I was walking down the streets and I saw a piece of paper and picked it. This has been a habit since the grill that comes with studying a Masters. The program involved reading novels and some books deemed fit for sociology, political science, psychology, philosophy, history, geography and any other sub-disciplines you can think of. I became accustomed to reading to the extent that reading became a part of me. If I find myself with nothing to read I pick up anything in my way. And this is what happened on this day.

I found that the paper had exam questions from one of the nation’s University. Universities have opened this side. The questions were from a Sociology module on development and human resources I think. I was happy now I can have an inside knowledge of what human resource management is all about in case I find the energy to apply for it in one of the adverts. My using of this knowledge would obviously depend on the other human resource manager’s wisdom to know my abilities with my qualifications that seem distant from the field. Who recruits the human resource manager if your may know, my dear reader?

Anyway the point is I moved from the first ZUPCO rank to another rank where I could board another ZUPCO home. There I saw another paper that had exam questions from a different department of a different University. This time the questions were from a media and communication management.

But what struck me was the striking resemblance of some of the questions.

Number 1 of the sociology module had this ‘What is management. With the aid of examples, discuss in detail four management functions

Number 3 had : What is the importance of resource management? Discuss the following HRM issues in relation to the media

(i) Recruitment

(ii) Decruitment

(iii) Employee training

(iv) Compensation and benefits

(v) sexual harassment

Then the other question paper had number 2

Highlight the functions of Human Resource Department in any organization of your choice

Number 5 had The Zimbabwe Platinum Mining Company has invited you to do a presentation on Models of Change Management. Demonstrate your knowledge of any 3 Models of Change Management.

What is change management?…

Me being the curious me I quickly snapped these striking similarities to a friend who happens to be a holder of the Msc in Social Anthropology from a different University from the two with the question papers. He told me this might be what is required by the buzz 5.0 model for tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe. I like rumors because most rumors in Zimbabwe turn out to be realities. So at one point there was a rumor saying Zimbabwe might have a single source of examination questions to be used in all state universities. Ridiculous!

So Education 5.0 is built on the assumption that beyond the classroom or seminar room, or lecture theatre we need an industrialist and innovative graduate. Sounds nice! It’s not like Zimbabwe hasn’t produced industrial worth graduates. It produces the best human capital doing wonders away where the groundwork has been laid for innovative and resourced humans can exercise the brain power.

Okay, one critic of the deteriorating standards of education in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia said the minister talks as if universities are industries. Zimbabwean universities have been lauded for producing masks and hand sanitizers since the plague outbreak. Sounds good! But no one talks of zero environment for these graduates to do what they have been trained. For instance in Zimbabwe, there is only one national television network plus the emerging and struggling few online television networks. I’m not so sure about the granting of licenses but I know there is a huge bureaucratization of service in this country. It hampers dreams.

So after the Social Anthropologist said this he suggested I change this whenever I manage to teach some day. It’s my dream to teach at University when I grow up.

But I want to do so deriving my theorisation and concepts from what we have or do not have.

So if I were to set examination questions, I would ask

What kind of manager do you wish to be?

Whose company do you want to manage?

What management style would you use?

What would you do with your expertise if you find yourself trapped in a stifling and choking environment?

My favorite question is whose company do you want to manage. My intention would be to have a person who doesn’t add to our frightening statistics on unemployment. We are already many. We don’t want a plus. I don’t want to instill unnecessary hope on them by suggesting they will manage Zimbabwe Platinum Mining Company. I would love them to know they own nothing yet. I would love questions that provoke thoughts of their nothingness so that they may start thinking of how to own their bodies, knowledge first before clamoring for geographical space to have places where they can do business from. I think Africa’s greatest question is on ownership: of ourselves and of space. As a teacher, that is if I become one I would like to be a teacher and student of ‘frictious’ groups. Groups that always find themselves at loggerheads with systems and the status quo. I hate conformity! Which is one goal of the education system that is fashion us into restless yet usable objects.

Dream Examiner

Published by advocateofunpopularopinions

I am a preacher confused in the constant happenings of life. I have been secretive about inner thoughts. Now I want to flow with them. I want to vomit. The pen is my link to the paper. The keyboard becomes the first step towards you. The internet will sort everything else considering I am not broke.

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