Colleges plan collaboration in producing women scientists

03Apr 2016
Nyendo Mohamed
Guardian On Sunday
Colleges plan collaboration in producing women scientists

HIGHER education institutions including colleges and other stakeholders are planning how to collaborate to provide opportunities that can lead to increased women professionals in science subjects.

Vice President Samia Hassan Suluhu

The directive was issued yesterday in Dar es Salaam by Vice-President Samia Hassan Suluhu in her closing remarks at the 50th anniversary of the College of Natural and Applied Science (CoNAS) at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM).

The vice-president said it was a global problem for women to disassociate themselves from science subjects. However, there were plans to prepare a strategic plan to get rid it of the problem.

“All developing countries depend on the contribution of scientists because through their research governments will be able to provide strong policies that can help them deal with various challenges related to development,” she said.

She said in recognition of the problem, there must be gender equality between men and women while also motivating women to be engaged in science issues.

According to her, there were only 80 successful women scientists in the world, with Africa failing to produce even one, saying scientists were greatly needed if the country was to move forward.

"I have been told that there are only 36 women trainers here, equivalent to 19 per cent of all trainers since the establishment of the faculty in 1965,” she added.

She said friendly policies in education favouring access to science subjects for women was needed as the only way to nurturing women scientists in the country. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof Rwekaza Mukandala said their goals were to ensure the college became a centre for scientific studies for sustainable development of the nation.

He said the college would remain focused on offering courses that fit international standards as a motivation to young women scientists. Prof. Thomas Lyimo, the college principal, said despite the recorded achievements there were still challenges that needed to be addressed, among them being less skilled professionals, outdated teaching infrastructure, lack of centre for scientific research, and scholarships for trainers.

The 50th anniversary celebrations of the birth of science at the University of Dar es Salaam which commenced on Wednesday were graced by Minister for Education Prof Joyce Ndalichako on behalf of President Dr John Magufuli.