Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
THE Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative of paying fees for A- Level pupils can only be successful if complemented by requisite infrastructural development in schools, a senior official has said.
Zimbabwe Manpower Development chief executive officer Mr Fredrick Mandizvidza said this yesterday at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) STEM awards ceremony for Bulawayo.
A total of 21 pupils received their STEM prizes in the city.
The prizes consisted of 10 IPads and 10 laptops while another pupil will be travelling to the United States’ Silicon Valley, dubbed the home of STEM.
Zimdef is paying fees for 5 132 A-Level pupils countrywide who took up STEM subjects, with 499 of them coming from Bulawayo.
STEM subjects are Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Chemistry.
Mr Mandizvidza implored parties interested in human capital development to assist schools with infrastructure that will see STEM propelled to greater heights.
“What we need to do collectively is to up the game when it comes to infrastructural development. There is a need to upgrade our laboratories to avail equipment. These are science subjects and they require apparatus in the laboratories. They also require current textbooks and I think these are issues that need to be addressed,” he said.
Mr Mandizvidza said the country should mould a culture among the youths that promotes research and innovation at a tender age.
He said the country has the capacity to create great inventors that can make Zimbabwe a global force.
“The key issue is for us not to lose vision for STEM which is to industrialise Zimbabwe. In terms of industrialisation, we’ve got to tap into our national talent . . . Talent as far as innovation, research and development is concerned. That’s a culture that we need to develop.
“That culture starts with the youngsters that we’ve equipped today,” said Mr Mandizvidza.
He said the youths should be self motivated by scientific knowledge to transform the country’s future.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Ambassador Machivenyika Mapuranga, said STEM would continue to be on the Government’s agenda as the country’s future hinges on it.
He said the prizes draw is another incentive for pupils to take up STEM subjects.
“The STEM revolution will go a long way in unlocking the nation’s economic development potential. In this regard, Zimbabwe’s education policies should be anchored around scientific research and development in which STEM is developed and exploited for the benefit of society as a whole,” he said.