Polytech­nics chal­lenged to ini­ti­ate STEM fund­ing

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Wal­ter Mswazie Masvingo Cor­re­spon­dent

POLYTECH­NIC Col­leges have been urged to come up with their own Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Math­e­mat­ics (STEM) fund­ing mech­a­nisms to sup­port Gov­ern­ment’s in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion ini­tia­tives.

Speak­ing at a STEM prize han­dover cer­e­mony at Masvingo Polytech­nic on Thurs­day where 12 pupils from Masvingo re­ceived lap­tops and Ipads, Higher and Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion, Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy De­vel­op­ment Deputy Min­is­ter Dr God­frey Gan­dawa urged ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions to come up with mech­a­nisms that can sup­port gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts on STEM.

He said in­stead of wait­ing for the Zim­babwe Man­power De­vel­op­ment Fund (Zimdef) which has so far dis­bursed over $4,4 mil­lion to­wards pay­ing schools fees for pupils who have en­rolled for STEM this year, ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions should help in fund­ing the am­bi­tious pro­gramme.

“Pol y t e c h n i c col­leges are ex­pected to come up with their own fund­ing mech­a­nisms to­wards the STEM pro­gramme. You can fund the build­ing of sci­ence or com­puter lab­o­ra­to­ries at schools with STEM pro­grammes,” said Dr Gan­dawa. He un­der­scored the need for the na­tion to have a bias to­wards STEM as the old model of ed­u­ca­tion makes grad­u­ates re­dun­dant in the long run. The Deputy Min­is­ter said the STEM pro­gramme is de­signed for the fu­ture as pupils are taught to be in­dus­tri­al­ists of note who have the ca­pac­ity to turn around the eco­nomic for­tunes of the na­tion through in­no­va­tion. “Gone are the days when we were still en­trenched in the old mode of ed­u­ca­tion which did not em­pha­sise on tech­nol­ogy. We are pre­par­ing our chil­dren for the fu­ture. Imag­ine if we had started this pro­gramme 10 years back, we could have achieved many things,” he said. Dr Gan­dawa said Gov­ern­ment was in­vest­ing in the youths be­cause they hold the key to the coun­try’s fu­ture. Present at the cer­e­mony were Pro­vin­cial Ed­u­ca­tion Direc­tor Mr Za­dius Chit­iga, Masvingo Polytech­nic Col­lege prin­ci­pal Mr Evans Musara, Zimdef ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Fredrick Man­dizvidza, Chief Zimuto, among oth­ers. — @ wal­terbm­swazie2

Dr God­frey Gan­dawa

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