HIGHER Education minister Jonathan Moyo yesterday turned up in the National Assembly and attracted interjections from opposition legislators who chanted “Twitter” at him.
by VENERANDA LANGA
Moyo then proceeded to greet the two Vice-Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko.
He spoke briefly with Mnangagwa and later issued a ministerial statement on education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem).
Moyo said government recommended Stem after only 13% (2 500) “O” Level students in 2014 qualified for admission into universities.
“This jolted us into finding ways of encouraging ‘O’ Level school leavers with grades ‘C’ or better in Stem subjects to take the combination at ‘A’ level,” he said.
“It is in our national interest to do what we can to increase or grow the pool of ‘O’ Level students to apply for admission at our universities from a paltry 13% to hopefully between 20% and 25%, to start with. In the end, we must have 75% of all our students doing Stem, but we are far from that.”
Moyo said registration of Stem students started on Monday, with the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) putting in $4 million for payment of fees for science students at government, mission and council schools.
He said, on Wednesday, $31 653 was paid for 106 students, and yesterday, 388 forms were being processed.
Mabvuku-Tafara MP James Maridadi (MDC-T) asked Moyo to explain his statements on Twitter, alleging that Information ministry secretary George Charamba ordered the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation to remove Stem advertisements and to respond to reports of discord with the Primary and Secondary Education ministry over the programme.
Moyo simply said there was no contradiction between the two education ministries.
He later angered MPs by ridiculing their questions and telling them what they should have asked him.
“We respect our minister, but he should not extend his Twitter stunts here,” Kuwadzana East legislator Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T) said.
Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda chided Moyo and asked him to address the MPs’ concerns without provoking them.