25 March 2019

Zimbabwe: 'Address Teaching of Sciences'

President Mnangagwa has tasked two Cabinet ministers to work together in addressing challenges affecting the teaching of sciences in Beitbridge district.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Minister Professor Amon Murwira and Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima were ordered to act immediately.

The President said it was sad that some schools in the district did not have science subjects due to resource challenges.

The area has 15 secondary and 70 primary schools and all do not have science laboratories, except for Zezani High which recently built one but it is yet to be equipped.

According to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Matabeleland South had a 52 percent shortage of teachers for sciences and technology related subjects in 2017.

The President made the remarks while addressing delegates at the commissioning of a US$23,6 million National Backbone Fibre Link in the border town last week.

"I have been briefed that most schools in this district are not teaching science subjects including Chemistry, Biology and Physics owing to a challenge of resources, he said.

"Fortunately, we have the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education (Prof Murwira) here with us today. I therefore instruct him to engage his counterpart in charge of Primary and Secondary Education (Prof Mavima) to attend to the matter with the urgency it deserves."

President Mnangagwa said it was important to promote the teaching of sciences in schools.

He called on players in the ICT sector, researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to research and innovate and boost services that ride on the latest huge internet capability.

The President said the link should be a catalyst in Government's quest to mordernise and industrialise the economy, both in rural and urban areas.

"We must move out of our comfort zones and put aside archaic methods of doing things, and instead ask how we can do things better, he said.

"By embracing technology and connectivity, we are embracing the future, and giving our people the best opportunities to thrive in the modern economy."

The fibre link which was constructed by TelOne in partnership with Huawei Technologies and funded by the China Exim Bank, is expected to reduce operating costs for the network provider (TelOne) by 40 percent.

The benefits are expected to cascade to consumers.

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