Minister of Primary and Secondary Education and UNICEF launches $10m Science Programme in Zimbabwe
By Richard Nyamanhindi
Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Honorable Lazarus Dokora was on the outskirts of Harare on Friday, February 28 to cut the first ribbon on a new $10 million science project for all Zimbabwe Secondary Schools.
The Minister was joined by his Deputy Prof. Larry Mavima, Mr. Peter Taylor of the Department for International Development (DIFD), UNICEF Representative Mr. Reza Hossaini, UN Heads, the Education Development Fund (EDF) Donors and Senior Government Officials at BAK Storage Warehouse where the science kits are being received, re-package and delivered to their respective schools countrywide.
A total of 2,449 science kits were procured under the program and all the 2,336 secondary schools in Zimbabwe including the Satellite Schools and teacher’s colleges will receive the equipment.
Commenting on the science kits which are set to revolutionize the way science is taught in Zimbabwe, Honorable Lazarus Dokora said: “The science kits program which is being launched today is a revival of the Zim-Science Program which was introduced by the Government of Zimbabwe in the early 1980’s.”
“The science kits are being provided to all secondary schools including the Satellite schools in the country under the Education Development Fund, Phase II (2012-2015),” said the Minister.
The Minister also noted that science teachers around the country have already been trained on the use of the new equipment and local chemical suppliers must be engaged to make sure that they replenish the kit once the current consignment runs out.
“More than 2,000 science teachers have been in-serviced on the use of the new science kits and the training will continue until 15 March 2014. The teachers being trained include those who did not major in science. We also want local suppliers to study the components of the science kits and come forward to indicate their capacity to replenish them when they are due,” said the Minister Dokora during the launch.
UNICEF Representative, Mr. Reza Hossaini commented: “We expect that the science kits will contribute to a better understanding of science and improve academic performance among learners. In the next few weeks, each of the 2,336 secondary schools in Zimbabwe will receive a comprehensive kit comprising 186 sets of different items. In addition, at least 2 science teachers from each of these schools will be trained in the use, care and maintenance of this equipment.”
Mr. Peter Taylor, Chair of the Education Development Fund that includes United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, the European Union and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), added that “This is a celebration of the possibility that these more than 2,400 science kits will open up to the millions of people to use them. It is really inspiring to see how excited the pupils are about the kits…”
“If the kits are used and well looked after, they should allow the students to realize their potential and dreams to be doctors, engineers or pilots…it is intently rewarding for donors that our financial contribution might just help children and pupils to realize their dreams,” Mr. Taylor said.
The Education Development Fund is a response vehicle to the challenges that faced the education sector in the five years leading to 2009. It was launched by the then Ministry of Education Sports and Culture with the objective of improving the quality of education for children through the provision of essential teaching and learning materials for primary schools and high level technical assistance to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.