The Ministry of General Education, through the Zambia Library Service, has flagged off the distribution of 6,000 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) books worth 35,400 British Pounds from Book Aid International-UK.
The Zambia Library Service (ZLS) has also received K65,500 to purchase 564 books suitable for the local curriculum and US$1,777 for the printing and publication of 400 Pass It Booklets aimed at helping pupils in examination classes on how to answer questions during examinations.
The flagging off of the distribution of the STEM books to four schools was graced by the Ministry of General Education Director for Teacher Education and Specialised Services, Kotati Ngosa.
Mr. Ngosa thanked Book Aid International for a noble gesture that will help change the mindset of girls regarding taking up subjects that are deemed to be for boys.
“This special donation will encourage more girls to learn STEM subjects,” he said
Mr. Ngosa added that the four schools that will receive the books are not STEM schools but the donation will help encourage their female pupils to take keen interest in reading and studying STEM subjects.
He explained that all the four schools are located in provincial headquarters that have libraries run by Zambia Library Service.
Mr. Ngosa further said officers from provincial libraries should always make follow-ups to ensure books are being put to good use.
And Zambia Library Service Assistant Director Robinson Bwato noted with gratitude that the STEM books will inculcate the interest of reading at a tender age as they have a component of learner support that fulfils the reading culture.
“We treat illiteracy as a disease that must be treated with reading,” he said
Mr. Bwato added that the STEM programme is intended to curb discrimination that girls must not take up science.
He said it is unfortunate that is deemed normal for a girl child to fail in science.
“The provision of these reading material supports learners, learning and teaching to ensure that children are excelling in their examinations at the end of the day,” he said
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Chaebwa, the Senior Library Officer at ZLS and STEM Projects Coordinator, said a three day stakeholders training will be held to ensure that various stakeholders acquaint themselves with knowledge on the STEM projects.
“The training will have 16 participants which includes four provincial librarians, 12 teaching staff constituting of head teachers, one STEM teacher and one librarian,” she said