The Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (Costech) has acknowledged the importance of encouraging secondary school students to study science and technology at school for the purpose of applying the same in future.
Costech Director of Information and Documentation Dr Raphael Mmasi made the remark yesterday in Dar es Salaam at a press briefing on the implementation of a scientific programme in secondary schools aimed to boost ICT use.
“It’s very important to support the students in learning and applying science and technology at the secondary school level by encouraging them to take science subjects,” he said.
Citing an example, Mmasi said through scientific research projects done by Young Scientists Tanzania (YSY) most innovative students shall be given the opportunity to acquire higher education or given equipment to start their own projects after school.
He said the Costech projects for schools intend to groom young innovators who can be promoted through provision of education and technological equipment to encourage more people to engage in the technology sector.
Mmasi said that all developed nations in the world have invested much in science and technology.
For his part, YSY director for Tanzania, Dr Gozibert Kamugisha said the program will create a platform for young secondary school students to investigate theories, discover new technologies and advance current knowledge through fun research and innovation.
“It will provide students with the opportunity to participate in scientific learning experiences away from classrooms and to explore the unlimited potentials of science,” he said
According to him, the projects will be ranging from behavioral and social sciences, biological and ecological sciences, chemical, physical as well as mathematical science and technology.
He said all schools that wish to participate will be supported through workshops for teachers which are now ongoing since January this year. Schools will also receive mentoring or practical advice on suitable projects and research methodologies, only that the students will be required to generate ideas for the projects based on the realities in their communities.
“YST has built collaboration with key partners such as the Ministry of Science, Communication and Technology and Ministry of Education and Vocational Training who are the overall advisors and mentors to the project, giving it legitimacy in terms of government support,” he explained.
General Manager of Pearson Arabella de Steiger Khadwala, who are sponsors of the YST programme, said it has become increasingly apparent that problems in the teaching of science in primary and secondary schools have repercussions throughout the education system.
“Science subjects at university, such as engineering, physics, biology and chemistry are woefully undersubscribed, while the government is making commendable efforts to attract students to science faculties by proving more favorable financing arrangements. The problem should be addressed,” said the GM.