Since its launch in 2016, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative has been the topic of many discussions, as people seek to better understand this seemingly ‘new animal’, the brainchild of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development.
For some sections, the majority of questions revolved around the impact of the initiative on the country’s education system, while for others the preoccupation, was with trying to understand, its significance to national developmental goals, vis-à-vis the country’s agenda for socio-economic transformation.
In the case of Midlands State University and various members of the Gweru community, the significance, as well as the crucial role of STEM, was left in no doubt, after listening to a highly informative and elaborate public lecture titled ‘The Role of STEM in Reviving the Zimbabwean Economy’.
In his lecture, delivered at Midlands State University, on Thursday the 8th of March, 2017, in the University’s Multi-purpose Hall, Professor Moyo, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development, highlighted the country’s guiding vision, that of industrialization and modernization, as a means of bringing about socio-economic transformation. However, for this vision to be a reality, Professor Moyo said, there was a need to develop a sound knowledge and skills base, anchored in STEM as articulated in the STEM263 policy framework.
‘STEM is a strategic intervention that will support the country’s industrialization and modernization drive’, said Professor Moyo.
The role of higher and tertiary education, according to the Minister, should, therefore, be, to produce a knowledge and skills base that is ‘stematized’ and characterized by the production of technologists and engineers, who will help to turn the country’s industrialization and modernization aspirations into reality.
In his concluding remarks, the Minister called on institutions of higher and tertiary education to seriously rethink their mandates, using the country’s industrialization and modernization drive as a reference point.
After delivering his lecture, the Minister, also took the opportunity to tour Midlands State University’s Faculty of Medicine and the University Chapel, which is nearing completion. ‘The chapel is an important addition, to the University’s infrastructure’, said Professor Moyo.
Those who attended the public lecture included, the Principal Director, Academic Affairs (MHTESTD), Mr J. T. Dewah, MSU Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor V. N. Muzvidziwa, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Business and Administration, Professor, K. H. Wekwete, the Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Academic Affairs, Professor D. Z. Moyo and various members of the University community among them, Principal Officers, Faculty Executive Deans, staff, the Student Representative Council (SRC) and students. Also in attendance were the Acting Provincial Education Director in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr R. Mabhena, officials from sister colleges, and members of the public.
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