Bulawayo Polytechnic College
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Bulawayo Polytechnic is an academic institution established in 1927 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, initially as a technical school. The current main campus on Park Road in Suburbs was established in 1942. The Division of Art & Design is based at a campus on George Silundika Street in the central business district. This campus also offers training for artisans in bricklaying, plumbing, carpentry and joinery as well as wood machining. The polytechnic is sometimes wrongfully called Bulawayo Polytechnic College instead of Bulawayo Polytechnic.
The polytechnic provides a number of higher education qualifications including a national diploma in civil engineering. It is one of the few polytechnics in the country which produces civil engineering technicians. Some of the programs offered include mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, automotive engineering, information technology, biotechnology as well as commerce programs such as marketing management, purchasing and supply, and secretarial studies among others.
It has played host to exchange students from many countries including the United States and western Europe. It provides technical and vocational education for the nation. Most of the students who graduated from the polytechnic especially in technical programs such as engineering in the early 2000s when the Zimbabwean economy started slumping have migrated to neighboring South Africa where the demand for technical workers is high.
The polytechnic has been attempting to become a University College, but fell out of favour in preference to the establishment of the National University of Science and Technology; the National University of Science and Technology used Bulawayo Polytechnic facilities to get started. The Polytechnic is now offering two Bachelor of Technology degrees in Environmental Health as well as Water Resource Engineering in conjunction with NUST.
In 2001 Bulawayo Polytechnic produced a radical council led by vice-president Blessing Sibanda who took over as president after the suspension of Kwanisai Mafa who had allegedly misappropriated funds with Nkululeko Sibanda as Secretary General . This council took the Zimbabwean government to task over privatisation of accommodation issues which saw the withdrawal of many students. This was the first council from Bulawayo to challenge the Zimbabwean government which prompted the then minister of Higher Education to order their expulsion.
Although expelled from the College, Nkululeko Sibanda became the President of the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU). He is the only person to lead ZINASU without being a university student. During his term of office, ZINASU won the International Student Peace Prize in Norway.
Blessing Vava, Students Union President 2006-7, was named the most exemplary student in 2006. The militant student leader led protests against high tuition fees and in support of students rights. This resulted in him being arrested on numerous occasions by the law enforcement agents in Zimbabwe, and he was subsequently denied registration to complete his studies. He is the spokesman for the Zimbabwe National Students Union.In 2013 the SRC president was Tafadzwa Tigere and his Vice president was Offias Madzivire , the SECRETARY GENERAL was Tinomuvonga Mushure who was renowned for his strong English and communication skills .Offias Madzivire was one of the student leaders along with the Secretary General who stood with students during the time when the administration wanted to remove the students from the hostel to accommodate ZIMSEC markers without informing the students. offias madzivire became the de facto Human rights Advocate in Zimbabwe CONGRESS Of Students Union (ZICOSU). Offias Madzivire faced the bulawayo polytech administration for the rights of the students, he became the student hero of all times for the students at bulawayo poly and to come because of the things he advocated for as a student leader at Bulawayo polytechnic.He was a fearless, brave, smart and intelligent leader.2016 Architectural Technology National Certificate class was one of the best classes who attained 85% pass. The current principal of Bulawayo Polytechnic is Mr GM Mabasa (2016).