HIGHER Education minister Jonathan Moyo yesterday implored women to embrace government’s science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) initiative and enrol for science programmes.
BY TALENT GUMPO
Moyo challenged the female students at Bulawayo Polytechnic College’s graduation ceremony, where females comprised 13% of the total 52% who graduated in science subjects.
“I am delighted that 52,8% of the graduands — 614 male and 206 female — are in Stem disciplines in line with the government’s Stem initiative,” he said.
“Females are lagging behind in the uptake of Stem at the polytechnic, taking up only 13,3%.”
Moyo said when he was assigned to lead the Higher Education ministry, he embarked on an ambitious project to increase the uptake of sciences by students at institutions of higher learning, starting from secondary education.
The programme had been widely received, with his ministry offering scholarships to students pursuing studies in sciences.
Moyo said he was pleased by the increasing number of students on the Stem programme, saying that was a step in the right direction.
He lauded Bulawayo Polytechnic, saying the institution had transformed into a vibrant polytechnic offering various degree programmes.
“This institution has since transformed into a vibrant polytechnic offering various programmes including Bachelor of Technology (BTech) degree programmes under the National University of Science and Technology (Nust),” Moyo said.
He said more than 100 students had since graduated with BTech degrees in Water Resources Engineering and in Environmental Health so far.
“The over 100 students, who have obtained BTech degrees in Water Resources Engineering and Environmental Health, do not have Bulawayo Polytechnic degrees. They have Nust degrees,” Moyo said.
Meanwhile, Moyo said the college should consider turning the School of Hospitality and Tourism (SCHOTO) into a viable enterprise to offer an undergraduate degree programme under a university.
“Efforts to transform SCHOTO into an enterprise started as far as 2004 when the Public Service Commission directed the ministry to transform the school to become a stand-alone institution along the lines of the then Department of Mining, which was hived off from Bulawayo Polytechnic to become the School of Mines,” Moyo said.