State promises to support girls to become scientists

11Apr 2016
Felister Peter
The Guardian
State promises to support girls to become scientists

THE government has vowed to continue encouraging school girls to pursue science subjects and eventually specialise in information and communication technology (ICT).

Girls in ICT program

Measures currently being undertaken include introduction of competitions involving Form Three students from all over the country. The annual science competition under the Universal Communication Service Access Fund (UCSAF) has for the first time been implemented this year.

It involved a total of 240 secondary girls selected from various schools in the country. It is part of celebrations to mark the International ICT day organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and celebrated every fourth Thursday of April.

Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Works, Dr Maria Sasabo said that it is the government’s aim to ensure the country has more women scientists. She said some students misconstrue science subjects as difficult and complicated but they are just like any others.

She was speaking in the city on Wednesday during a ceremony to award certificates to 30 girls who emerged winners of the competition. UCSAF will also provide all the girls with text books for their Form IV studies next year.

Dr Sasabo noted that Tanzania is among the countries with a small number of science students. She said in last year’s Form Four final examinations, only 25 percent of students scored between grade I and III.

“We are committed to support girl students to undertake science subjects. We need as many women scientists to fill the existing shortage in future,” she said.

Earlier, UCSAF chief executive officer, Eng Peter Ulanga said the competition is strictly for government owned schools in both Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar.