by Kenneth Moyo |
STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.
The initiative has been driven by the need for science and technology skills in various facets of the economy, something that government highlighted in its economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset).
Figure STEM STUDENTS AT MARIST BROTHERS HIGH SCHOOL
STEM was introduced in January 2016. STEM encourages ordinary students who obtained C or better in mathematics, biology, physics and chemistry to pursue sciences at advanced level.
The government has been paying fees for students who registered under STEM, which seeks to come up with a dynamic future for Zimbabwe by creating a critical mass of scientific mindsets that are empowered to create industries and markets of the future.
The STEM programme launched by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development last year has seen beneficiaries for the Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth form totalling 10 495. Statistics released by the Zimbabwe Development Fund (Zimdef) show that 5 431 pupils enrolled for the Lower Sixth Form this year compared to 5 136 last year.
The number of Upper Six formers has reduced to 5 064 after some pupils were allegedly enticed by scholarships from the private sector. Zimdef has paid out $3 949 638, 99 for both classes as well as examination fees for the Upper Sixth formers. Statistics show that 533 pupils from Bulawayo have registered compared to about 500 last year while, Matabeleland North has 182 pupils compared to 145 last year and Matabeleland South dropped from 500 to 341.
Higher Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, is on record as saying his ministry will in the next 10 years produce 50 000 STEM technologists and engineers meant to industrialise and modernise Zimbabwe’s economy.
STEM REGISTRATION PROCEDURE
1. All students with grade C or better in STEM subjects should proceed to the school of their choice for ‘A’ level registration;
2. Registration for funding under this initiative is strictly for a combination of three or more of STEM subjects – Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology;
3. Upon registration, students should take the following documents to the nearest ZIMDEF offices in the province where their ‘A’ level school is located;
a) a certified copy of the result slip;
b) an admission letter from the school;
c) a certified copy of your birth certificate;
d) School invoices for tuition and boarding fees with banking details clearly stated;
e) school receipts if payment has already been made;