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‘Schools must provide labs’

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Schools wishing to establish “A” Level education will have to provide science laboratories, a senior government official has said.

Education, Sport, Arts and Culture secretary Stephen Mahere said it was now compulsory for any schools wishing to establish “A” Level streams to provide science laboratories.

He was speaking before the Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Education, chaired by Insiza MP Siyabonga Ncube, in Harare, on Monday.

“The ministry has also drawn up a policy that all schools wishing to establish ‘A’ Level should have science laboratories in place and the ministry has offered to subsidise the construction of laboratories to the tune of 75% of the cost to demonstrate the importance of science education,” he said.

Mahere appeared before the committee to apprise them on measures his ministry was taking to ensure the teaching of science and maths subjects was facilitated at schools.

“The disadvantaged schools in the country are operating without laboratories and the ministry prepares school kits that facilitate the efficient teaching of sciences in areas where there are no laboratories and these are assembled by our Education Services Division and distributed to the identified schools,” said Mahere.

Mahere said as a way of improving the learning of sciences by girls, his ministry in conjunction with Unicef, had embarked on holiday science camps where girls are encouraged to learn the subjects.

However, MPs quizzed Mahere over President Robert Mugabe’s computer donation to schools without electricity.

He said his ministry would ensure that rural schools received generators in order for them to make use of the computers.

More than 860 computers have so far been dished out by the President.

Mahere however bemoaned lack of qualified science teachers, saying the brain drain that has rocked Zimbabwe has not spared the education sector.

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