You have probably heard the word STEM thrown around in the news and social media over the past few years and wondered what the fuss was about, right? Even more, there is an increased fuss within Africa to get girls interested in STEM from an early age.
What does STEM even mean?
STEM is an abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and here is the low-down on why we are making so much noise about it and why you should probably be making a fuss too.
- Statistics show that by 2020 (which is only 2 years from 2018); all future jobs in Africa will require a STEM education. We must equip our children particularly girls with the necessary education to fit into those jobs.
- STEM professionals earn more than twice of what professionals in traditional jobs earn. It’s about financial empowerment and breaking the cycle of poverty one girl one woman at a time. Do not take our word on it, click here to see the numbers!
- We are a country and continent plagued with a lot of problems like lack of clean water and sanitation, poor health systems, high unemployment, just to mention a few, we need our human resources to be equipped with critical thinking and problem-solving skills, STEM promotes and teaches critical thinking and problem-solving.
- Women constitute 51.3% of the Zimbabwean population and the majority of these women live below the poverty datum line. STEM offers economic empowerment and competitive advantage not only for the nation but for women as well yet less than 30% of the women population in the country is working in a STEM-related field (the percentage could be way lower), encouraging girls to pursue STEM-related programs in school is one step forward in helping to break cycles of poverty in their lives and for the nation as a whole.
There is a movement across Africa that has gained momentum over the past few years, calling for African solutions to African problems; we need our future leaders and human resource to be solution-oriented in order to address some of our biggest problems.