The 2016 A-Level STEM Initiative was born out of the vision enunciated by His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe, Cde Robert G. Mugabe when he said, “There is need to equip learners with knowledge and values that guarantee economic growth and increased opportunities for employment creation; well-rounded citizens who are relevant nationally and competitive globally.”
On 27 January 2016 the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, launched the 2016 A-Level STEM Initiative. The Initiative seeks to encourage students who sat for their ‘O’ Level examinations in 2015 and obtained a Grade ‘C’ or better in Mathematics, Biology, Physics and Chemistry to take a combination of these STEM subjects at A-Level (Lower Six) in 2016.
Where the 2015 ‘O’Level School leavers register for a full combination of these STEM subjects, the Ministry will pay tuition fees, levies and boarding fees at Government, Mission and Council Schools.
Students who registered at public schools, stood a chance to win a trip of a lifetime to Microsoft and other Silicon Valley STEM companies in the US and this category will have 10 winners: one each from the country’s 10 provinces. There will also be draws for 100 STEM laptops (10 each from the country’s 10 provinces); and 100 STEM iPads (again 10 each from the country’s 10 provinces). All high schools, whether public or private, that register full STEM classes will stand to win a state of the art 30 -seater STEM Bus and another one will also stand a chance to win $100,000,00 in cash to support STEM activities or infrastructures at the school.
Registration under the 2016 A-Level STEM Initiative started on Monday 15 February, 2016 under the auspices of the Ministry’s Science and Technology Officers at provincial centers supported by the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF’s) regional officers across the country. ZIMDEF set aside $4m to fund the Initiative.
The Objectives of this Initiative are to:
- Increase the number of STEM students who will enroll in STEM degree programmes at the country’s Universities in 2018.
- Stimulate interest in Mathematics, Biology, Physics and Chemistry as foundational pillars of STEM competences.
- Promote STEM careers in response to ZimAsset’s Value-addition and beneficiation thrust.
- Train and develop cutting-edge skills to meet Zimbabwe’s industrialization quest and make the country competitive globally.
Students touring the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development’s stemitised stand at ZITF 2016