The Country through the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development, joined the rest of the World celebrating World Science Day for Peace and Development, a UNECSO sponsored event was held at the Harare Gardens.
By Daphne Machiri
Speaking at the function Permanent Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development, Ambassador Dr Machivenyika Mapuranga said the country is intensely obliged and grateful to UNESCO for its persistent, substantial and critical role in the field of education capacitation and the promotion of gender and Science &Technology programmes.
“Science &Technology elicits socio-economic transformation, as nations prepare to implement the obligations contained in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), government is determined to introduce policies designed to meet basic needs without degrading the environment,” said Dr Mapuranga .
He added that to achieve the SDGs, it requires ambitious evidence-based interdisciplinary, solution-oriented research programmes and outcomes premised on the effective and efficient exploitation of science, technology and innovation.
“There is more need of business driven approach that requires a paradigm shift into Science , Technology Engineering and Mathematics(STEM) as key to national economic development programmes,” said Dr Mapuranga.
“STEM demands that these concepts are carefully mainstreamed in the education scheme from an early age, in this regard, both students and the teachers who impart this knowledge must be grounded in their appreciation of the role of science and technology in national progress,
“Taking critical areas such as development or robust, elaborate and resilient Science Culture, this will results in economy growth in a competitive and effective manner fulfilling goals set in our economic blueprint ZIMASSET ,”said Dr Mapuranga .
He went on to add that the Country should be anchored around scientific research and development in which Science, Technology and Innovation are developed and exploited for the benefit of society as a whole.
“Within the present climate change challenges will require innovative science and technology-based solutions, capacitation in various scientific fields is critical to ensure an adequate supply of critical human resources to work on these global challenges and to develop science based solutions,” said Dr Mapuranga .
Scientific and technological capacity and capabilities govern the ability of a country to provide citizens with basic needs such as adequate food, clean water, good health care, and shelter as well as the provision of adequate infrastructure and sound environmental management practices.
“In Zimbabwe we still need to exploit the enrollment of STEM programmes , at the nine state universities in 2014, stood at 67 420 with 50 623 students enrolled in commercials with a paltry 16797 enrolled in science and technology, he said .
Science and Technology Policy underscores the importance of mainstreaming Science in all sectors of the economy so as to ensure that Zimbabweans benefit through acquisition and utilization of available technology to improve the quality of their lives.
Dr Mapuranga emphasized in reminding that with the effect of 2016 academic year no new student would be admitted into higher and tertiary institutions without mathematics grade C or better at ‘O’ level.
“We advocate for the preferment of STEM based curriculum from a tender age, students should be exposed to the field of Science, Technology and Mathematics from as early as ECD , “ said Dr Mapuranga .
The 2nd Science and Technology Policy is a deliberate support system instituted to promote STEM based professions as carriers of first choice.