GOVERNMENT subsidies on laboratory equipment for secondary schools are critical in promoting science subjects among students in the country.
Investors in the education sector therefore have asked the government to support private schools in procurement of the equipment, decrying exorbitant prices of the apparatus.
Head of Same-based St Joachim Secondary School in Kilimanjaro region Fr Deogratius Mchagi made the plea at the school’s second Form Four graduation ceremony at which 84 students graduated here over the weekend.
“We have responded to President John Magufuli’s drive towards industrial-based economy...our role is to offer high quality science education but the excessive prices of laboratory equipment are an impediment,” he said.
He said many students are coming out to pursue science subjects as compared to the past, noting that full support to science students is inevitable if the country has to produce many young scientists, with supply of equipment for their practical studies.
“During this year’s (form four) examinations, we spent 20m/- in the purchase of laboratory equipment for practical examinations in science subjects...to us, this amount is huge,” he said.
The School Board Chairperson, Ms Angela Kessy advised the government to increase support to schools that offer science subjects, strategically to increase scientists in the country.
“Most schools’ laboratories lack equipment fit for provision of good practical education in science subjects, resulting into students’ dismal performance in their practical exams,” she said.
Acting Chief Park Warden with Mkomazi National Park Angela Nyaki advised the graduands to make good uses of the advanced information technologies.
“The advanced technology is useful if put into wise uses but some people, especially the youth, abuse the modern technology and ultimately end up ruining their own educational dreams and future lives,” she said.
She urged parents against dictating subjects or professions for their children to enable students to freely and confidently pursue their passions.
“There are some parents who chose subjects or professions for their children...some go to the extent of discouraging their children to pursue science subjects, claiming that the subjects are tough. This is not fair,” argued Ms Nyaki.
Speaking on behalf of graduands, Rahim Karim decried the shortage of laboratory equipment and science teachers as the critical challenges haunting students during their pursuit of science subjects.