Low science enrolment causes worry

Arusha. Only 14 per cent of tertiary education students in Tanzania during 2010-2012 were enrolled in science, engineering and technology subjects, one of the lowest ranked country in sub Saharan Africa.

The rate has dropped from 34 per cent of those who were taking the three subjects between 2003-2004. However, it is nearly double the percentage of tertiary education students surveyed in 1986-1989 period. In 1986-1989 - according to statistics sourced from the World Bank and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) - only nine per cent of students pursued science, engineering and allied subjects.

Tanzania ranked last of the ten countries surveyed during 1986-1989, 2003-2004 and 2010-2012 but for 2010-2012 it is followed by Mozambique (22 per cent), Burkina Faso ( 24 per cent) and Ghana as well as Ivory Coast (25 per cent each). Other countries surveyed are Ethiopia whose 30 per cent of tertiary education students have enrolled in science and engineering subjects, Kenya (29), Malawi (54) and Rwanda 33 per cent. No figures were available for enrolment in Senegal for 2010-2012.

The information emerged as the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) hosted visiting professors and science students from the United States who had come to evaluate the country’s teaching of science in different levels of education.
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