Zimbabwean Government Removes School Fees For A’ Level Sciences…

STEM students standing skeleton

There is FREE education for your child if they elect to do science subjects at A’ Level. Government will take on the burden of paying the school fees for both day scholars and boarders (including boarding fees) starting with this year’s enrollment.

The catch?

Your child needs to be enrolled at a public school.

If going to a Government school is not an issue with you (over 2 million students are already doing it) then see to it that when your child starts school this term (yes, the Minister has since scrapped the idea of Lower 6 students starting in second term) that they enroll for a combination of Mathematics, Biology, Physics and Chemistry. They need to have passed the requisite subjects at O’ Level (whose results are expected to come out sometime in February).

The move is meant to promote the learning of science technology, engineering and mathematics which are now known by the abbreviation STEM and are being promoted through the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.

Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Professor Jonathan Moyo went on to start that in order to lure both schools and students, a raft of prizes will be given away to make sure this is a reality. A state-of-the-art bus and a cash prize of $100 000 will be given to a lucky school that registers full STEM classes this year. Students stand a chance to win prizes of trips to Silicon Valley companies, laptops and iPads.

Prof Moyo said the objectives of the multimedia outreach programme were to increase the number of STEM students who will enroll in STEM degree programmes at the country’s universities in 2018 and to stimulate interest in Mathematics, Biology, Physics and Chemistry as STEM subjects.

There is solid evidence that the fastest growing and highest earning careers in future will be in STEM fields. Available evidence supports the view that currently sustainable socio-economic transformation is driven by investing in STEM disciplines. Employees and employers will need to utilise STEM skills in industrialising the economy, addressing issues of unemployment and in empowering the young through promotion of science and innovation.”

This certainly is a positive move to get students into such subjects. We’re not sure whether similar incentives will be put towards teachers, who will be expected to produce students of the right calibre that are equal to the task. Introducing things like hot sitting my distort the focus, so Government is encouraged to take a united approach between the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education and that of Primary and Secondary Education.

Something else that should be taken into consideration is where will Government get the money to pay for such a programme. A number of schools are already hamstrung and not getting adequate resources could see efforts such as the above falling to naught.

Main Image Credit: African Vision Of Hope