Calls for research culture in schools

Founders High School toppled five schools in a science exhibition competition held by African Institute of Biomedical Science (AIBST) and Technology in collaboration with the Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development ministry in Harare yesterday.

BY RUTENDO MATANHIKE/RUVIMBO MUNCHENJE

The competition sought to challenge high school students to identify health problems in their communities and solve them using science as a way of promoting a culture of research in the science world.

Speaking during the awards ceremony, programmes manager of AIBST project, Next Generation of Biomedical Scientists, Frank Muzenda, said the programme and competition was aimed at cultivating a culture of research among Africans to solve African problems.

“We are basically saying that Africa has a problem of very limited innovations and discoveries. Of the many discoveries done globally, our continent has not produced a lot of innovations mainly because of lack of a culture that promotes scientific research,” he said.

Muzenda said the idea, targeted at high school students, was created to instil a culture of research within young minds.

“For us, the victory is that we have created a platform where children learn to do research at a younger age before they go to university,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development secretary Fanwel Tagwira said industrialisation in Zimbabwe could be driven by technologies developed within the country.

“While industrialisation in Zimbabwe can be driven by foreign investment, it can also be driven by people within the country coming up with industries out of technology that is made locally, and that is what this event is all about, cultivating young minds and preparing them for a brighter future,” he said.

Founders High School’s project focused on eliminating cases of cattle theft in communities through the use of technology that captures DNA samples from different cattle to identify their owners, an innovation AIBST programmes manager said could be used at national level.

Founders High School won ZWL$3 000, while St Faith’s High School, in second place, took home ZWL$2 000, with third-placed Regina Mundi High School getting ZWL$1 000.

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