THE Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Professor Jonathan Moyo has said the ministry will not allow students to enrol in tertiary institutions without passing Mathematics at Ordinary Level. Prof Moyo was addressing delegates to the 2015 research and intellectualoutputs, science, engineering and technology (RIE-SET) expo at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) yesterday.
“I’m eight weeks old in the ministry and since I assumed this responsibility, I’ve been amazed by the number of requests I’m getting from students when I interact with the public. They’re saying they want to be excused from Mathematics because they’ve done subjects that have nothing to do with the subject.
“Enough is enough. We don’t think it should be possible to produce an educated person who has no Mathematics at O-Level,” said Prof Moyo, before officially opening the expo. He expressed concern at the low numbers of students doing sciences at universities, saying there should be more attention to science and technology.
“We want to invest a lot in science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM), but I’m not sure whether we’ve put our money where our mouths are. The budget allocation isn’t enough. It’s not possible to achieve objectives if we’re not showing commitment in budgetary terms. “About 52 percent of students at our universities are doing humanities while 29 percent are doing commercials, leaving only 19 percent to do STEM. This shows that higher and tertiary institutions have deviated from their mandate,” said Prof Moyo.
He commended universities for coming up with fantastic initiatives but urged them to be interested in what is happening in the primary and secondary education. He said while the poor state of the economy was to blame for the general high unemployment, most university graduates were out of employment because they had irrelevant degrees.
Prof Moyo commended the participants for making the expo successful despite the harsh economic conditions, saying he was confident government will turn the economic recovery page. The expo was held under theme “Research and innovation for socio-economic transformation”.
The RIE-SET is an annual event initiated by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development. RIE-SET organising committee chairman Professor Christopher Chetsanga said it is an initiative to showcase to the nation and the Southern African region, the research outputs and intellectual prowess of Zimbabweans both at home and in the diaspora.