Polytechnics challenged to initiate STEM funding
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