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Encouraging female students pursue science programmes

News   Lusungu Munthali   September 11, 2017
PIC: Melvin Leland posing with two engineering students
Men around the world have largely dominated the field of science; men have founded many discoveries and formulaic equations. From the apple that fell not so far from the tree to land on Isaac Newton triggering a quest that lead to the theory of gravity to the most famous E=MC2 equation by Albert Einstein, it has been men taking the center stage in the field. But what’s the take when it comes to ladies.

It is so worrisome to the see a minimal percentage of female students pursuing science programmes and let alone taking an initiative to discover something more profound in the science is so ironic to see that unlike female students taking the example of the first programmer who was female by the name Ada Lovelace. For instance, at the Polytechnic, according to the faculty of Engineering, female students constitute about 23% of the total intake. On the other hand, looking at the human resource capacity especially at the faculty of engineering, female academic staff members constitute 8% of the total with no female academic member of staff in the Mechanical engineering department.

Looking at the situation on hand, female engineering students established Polytechnic Association of Female Engineers (PAFE), an organization aimed at bringing out the best grain in every female engineering student and in turn increase a formidable amount of girls that graduate from the faculty. This organization is planning to have a database whereby all female students will be registering. 

On the other hand, the Polytechnic through Skills Development Project funded by the World Bank embarked on a programme that provides bridging courses for all female science students. The programmes which started in the 2016-2017 academic calendar is expected to continue in the following years as a way of inspiring the female students to pursue their programmes with courage and determination. 

In a public lecture that took place on 10 August 2017 by former National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) astronaut, Leland Melvin, he highlighted on the need to educate the girl child in the field of science because diversity is the key to solving problems in the world. “We need to make girls feel like they are part of the solution for most of the times they are not” he said.

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