WINDHOEK – Over 60 girls from high schools across Namibia gathered at the University of Science and Technology (Nust) to showcase their innovative projects during the Women in Science (WiSci), Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts&Design and Mathematics (Steam) camp recently.
After the addition of arts and design, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Stem) is now known as Steam.
WiSci Steam camp is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for high school girls to dive into the Steam subjects alongside their peers and develop their leadership skills, in a unique cross-cultural environment.
The two-week long workshop which was attended by girls aged 15-18 was hosted by Nust and co-implemented by Girl Up, to expose young women to the variety of career paths available in Steam fields.
At the closing ceremony of the workshop last week, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation Becky Ndjoze-Ojo said the Continental Education Strategy for Africa, for 2016-2025 (Cesa) places greater emphasis on the recruitment, advancement, and retention of women and girls in Steam fields.
“This is also evident in its thematic clusters: Stem Education, Information and Technology (ICT) in Education, Teacher Development, Women and Girls Education, Higher Education, School Feeding, Peace and Education, Literacy and Lifelong Learning, Education Planning, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Life Skills, Curriculum, Early Childhood Education, Students’ Association and Parents’ Association,” she said.
Ndjoze-Ojo stated that women make up 50 percent of the continent’s population, but women’s participation in Steam fields remain low thereby robbing women’s potential and valuable contributions that in turn impacts the next generations.
Ndjoze-Ojo encouraged learners not to focus on the traditional Stem but they must realise that in the new age, they need arts and design as crucial and an integral part of the core disciplines, hence they migrate to Steam disciplines.
“Arts and design becomes especially an important ingredient in the age of artificial intelligence. This distinguishes us as humans from the machines. Subjects such as creativity, design, thinking and communication are identified as critical subjects for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” the deputy minister remarked, adding that learners need to take up Steam fields to ensure a better future for them and the future generations.
Speaking to Youth Corner, Tessa Somaes from Tutaleni High School in Walvis Bay said “The best part of this workshop was the library session where we looked through the microscope. At school, we only did that theoretically but we did not do it practically. I have learned a lot from the workshop and I am going to practice what I have learned at my school.”
Mariah Muwana who wants to be a nurse when she completes her studies one day said she has learned a lot about artificial intelligence and robotic machines and she is getting herself ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Muwana, a learner at Sikosinyana Secondary School in the Zambezi Region encouraged her fellow learners to choose fields of studies that are aligned with the Fourth Industrial Revolution because that is what the world is going to be about.
New Era Reporter
2019-07-03 09:40:03 19 days ago