Government has mobilised $15 million for training science teachers that would help promote the academic discipline in schools.
Learning institutions are often accused of churning out students that lack practical skills.
Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira told The Sunday Mail that Government plans to train 480 science teachers this year.
“This year we are aiming to train around 480 teachers from our four institutions to address the deficit of 5 000 science teachers.
“At first we had selected three teachers’ colleges — Mkoba, Joshua Mqabuko and Masvingo — to specialise in science training, but we have added Mary Mount so that we are able to address the shortage quickly,” said Prof Murwira.
Of the $15 million kitty, $8 million was sourced from the Manpower Development Fund, while an additional $7 million was allocated by Treasury.
“Each science training institution will get $3 million and another $3 million will go towards the construction of a science centre at Mkoba Teachers’ College,” he said.
Skilled science teachers, he added, would teach students science technology, engineering and mathematics.
Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) president and Apex Council team leader Mr Richard Gundane said science is a key pillar of industrialisation.
He, however, said a lot of funding is needed for learning institutions to operate optimally.
“A new injection of money is welcome but significant resources are needed particularly in that sector because that would drive industrial growth.
“If we make the right investments in that sector, we will be able to generate lot of foreign currency for our country,” he said.
Mr Gundane said the drop in Advanced Level pass rates for science subjects shows the need for targeted support for the sector.
“I was in Ethiopia recently representing all teachers and one thing they resolved was to give more support to the science sector.
“Our A’ level pass rate for last year was below 40 percent, which shows that it is an area which needs more support.”