In trying to move in tandem with the government’s skills-based education better known as education 5.0, Masvingo Polytechnic College has turned its guest house into a lodge with the department of Tourism and Hospitality Management students offering services at the new facility.
Masvingo Poly principal Engineer Callisto Muzongondi said they wanted their students to get first-hand experience of hospitality industry whilst at college so that when they graduate they will be assets rather than liabilities after graduation.
“Students in many College and universities are learning theory and they get into the industry without hands-on skills. This is the reason why we have decided to turn our guest house into a lodge. Our students with the guidance of their lecturers will be offering services so that after graduation they will be ready for employment,” said Muzongondi.
He went on to say the college was planning on introducing a restaurant and bar near the lodge so that they can offer good hospitality services to their guests saying the space is available and they are mobilizing resources towards the project.
“We are mobilizing more resources so that we can develop our lodge. We want to have a bar and a restaurant so that we will be able to offer all the hospitality services at the facility. We have the space and manpower here so once we get enough resources we will work on that project,” Muzongondi added.
He also said they also offer other services like conferencing services for corporates, churches and other people who may need to hire venues for meetings.
“We can also offer conferences and provide catering services here. We have Wi-Fi at our lodges and conference rooms and we can also provide video conferencing facilities at very affordable prizes,” he said.
Apart from the tourism department, they are also in a process of equipping and developing the textile department so that they can have a clothing factory at the college.
“We have since acquired some machines for our textile department. Our aim is to empower the department so that we can manufacture all clothing requirements for the college here. We want to produce all our uniforms here. After that we will then grow into supplying local schools and other corporates in Masvingo and beyond,” said Muzongondi.
The lodge manager Abraham Muchingami a lecturer in the tourism and hospitality management department said their target market are government departments, corporates as well as travelling public as this helps them to safeguard the institution’s students.
“Our target market for now are government departments, corporates as well as travelling public so as to maintain sanity at the lodge,” said Muchingami.
He said they were in the process of acquiring a place near the Tugwi-Mukosi dam to construct a camping site so as to extend the department’s sphere of influence hoping that will also help to create employment for their students.
“We are in the process of acquiring a place near the Tugwi-Mukosi dam for a camping site to be run by the college through the department of tourism and hospitality. This will create employment opportunities for our students who would have graduated,” said Muchingami.
The lodge has eight ensuite bedrooms with self service facilities where guests can bring their own food and cook on their own. They also have an option of paying for catering service at small extra cost.