Improve on Stem rather than dump it

THE government has said it is dumping the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) drive that the previous government had adopted, a patently unwise and short-sighted decision if ever there was one.

It is no secret that there were issues with the Stem initiative, but dumping it is akin to throwing out the baby with the bath water.

The government’s approach should have been to seek out remedial action and correct where it thought the Stem initiative had gone wrong rather than abandoning it.

It is not lost on us that the Stem thrust was initiated by former Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and there might be an appetite to do away with his initiatives, as he is considered persona non grata, but that is a myopic way of doing things.

Instead, the new administration should have carried over with the Stem drive and sought ways to improve it for the betterment of the country.

Without added focus on Stem, Zimbabwe is going backwards rather than progressing, in a world where science and technology are the unparalleled game-changers.

The government ought to invest as much as it can in science and technology education if the country is to develop, attract investment and become a major player in both Africa and the world.

It should have been a government initiative to say Stem would be funded across the education sector so that in the next 10 or so years, the country could start reaping the benefits.

Zimbabwe prides itself with its mining and agriculture sectors, but it is tragic that almost 20 years after the land reform programme, the country is yet to introduce any innovations that improves on these fields.

Instead, the country relies on foreign technologies, which may not be the best nor suitable for the country.

In agriculture, farmers still use Stone Age practices for cropping and this translates to overuse and unsustainable use of the land.


Thus, with a Stem approach, pupils can be inculcated into a culture of looking for cheaper local solutions to improve their status.

It is unclear what the authorities will do to replace the Stem initiative, but there was no need to reinvent the wheel and they could have just improved on what is there.

In a fast-changing world, it is imperative that the government promotes the teaching of Stem subjects and invests in the programme, as this is the only way the country can improve its fortunes.

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13 Comments

  1. Mgobhozi Wezintabeni

    The reasons behind dumping this programme does not need any stretch of imagination.The basic one is that of funding.It was improper for Jonathan Moyo to divert funds for industrial attachment and use them for stem,as a result students at tertiary institutions on industrial attachment failed to receive any funding let alone allowances.In any case,Moyo had sinister motives as he went on to use those funds to address welfare matters of traditional leaders in his constituency,issues that should had been addressed by the Ministry of Local Government.As if this wasn’t enough,he went on to fund rallies private functions for that matter with nothing to do with state business.

  2. I support you, very much correct, the Government should not punish the benefiters because of the political differences they have with the initiator of the problem. that would be an ostrich mentality and backward mind

  3. Christopher Mavhima

    I never supported STEM. The government showed that it now has real thinkers in the cabinet. It made no sense granting a high school a scholarship and after passing that person stays at home because he/she does not have University fees. No one on the list will be disadvantaged. The government said it will continue funding the already registered and then abandon it. Stem was introduced with people without foresight instead the Government can shift focus on funding the already enrolled students at University that funding A level. The other way of diverting those funds to productive areas related to STEM is to make sure selected projects in Science and Engineering are funded and commercialized, that’s what is done in developed countries especially our friend China. Thats how we can grow our industries. Zvinobatsirei kuti todzidzisa mwana opasa fomu 6 ogara kumba.

  4. There absolutely nothing wrong with STEM initiative, the nation tends to benefit immensely. Former Minister Moyo may not be lucked but what he initiated as the minister is very progressive and takes the nation forward. lt was a well thought and well implemented government program.

    1. Only a low calibre mediocre minded and dangerously unpatriotic policymaker would dump the STEM initiative. Not only would it produce skills and innovators to improve agriculture and mining – our two economic pillars, but would certainly drive value addition and beneficiation of raw materials therefrom. Instead, the nation needs to dump such an unpatriotic kinda garten petty jealousy administration rather than dump the STEM programme and its parent all time best economic blueprint Zimbabwe has ever had – ZimAsset

    2. Only a low calibre mediocre minded and dangerously unpatriotic policymaker would dump the STEM initiative. Not only would it produce skills and innovators to improve agriculture and mining – our two economic pillars, but would certainly drive value addition and beneficiation of raw materials therefrom. Instead, the nation needs to dump such an unpatriotic kinda garten petty jealousy administration rather than dump the STEM programme and its parent all time best economic blueprint Zimbabwe has ever had – ZimAsset

    3. precisely the problem in zim. we personalise things to the extent of doing away with noble programs just because they were done by people we don’t like. we are so petty

  5. Professor Dube-Moyo of tsholotsho

    Nonsense government of fraudsters, and they think giving cars is a good idea compared to educating children

  6. Though I do not like the professor, on stem he was correct and right. That was forward looking and wise indeed. I say this not because I am a beneficiary of the program. It worked as an incentive and motivated science students to read and take their education seriously, knowing the nation was investing in them. Considering how tough science subjects are, the prof was right. there has been a lot of brain drain in the country and no matter how our economy improves, we will not attract most of them back into the country with what they are getting out there.

  7. You encourage science education and science innovation by giving resources to those who have shown a capacity for invention not seconadary school children who will probably end up being lecturers or lab technicians( not that there is anything wrong with these proffessions). Besides being discriminatory against other children this was nothing but a popularity and vote buying gimmick by Jonathan Moyo. There are actual scientists right now with actual inventions who could not get even a $1000 dollars from our governement. Give those wasted resources to research institutions and those people students or otherwise who have demonstrable science acumen and inventions

    1. Ruzive you are spot on. We need to support ideas already drown from the researches and commercialize them. If we have a form 6 graduate then what. I don’t think it was apolitical turn around on the idea but a well thought one. Its better even to fund university students than funding school children. In the first place are we in a shortage of Science and Engineering students. Some are even failing to get places at the university so why funding high school children.

  8. Or better change the name so that it does not sound like Jonathan Moyo project LOL.
    Is there no binding contract between the GVT and the students can they not challenge the Gvt in court if abrutly stopped?

  9. They banned the STEM jingle not STEM. Actually they are improving it.

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