The National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) Limited on Thursday presented a cheque worth K500,000 as scholarships for ten needy girls’ participation in a science camp organised by the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST).
MUST has organized a girls’ science camp for secondary school students from across the country with an aim of promoting girls participation in science. The camp will be held from 1st to 5th August, 2016 at the schools’ campus in Thyolo.
Presenting the donation in Lilongwe, NOCMA Chief Executive Officer Robert Mdeza said his company responded to MUST’s call to assist the needy students adding the industry that his company operates in requires application of science, hence the donation.
“As NOCMA, our gas industry requires application of science hence we thought it wise to respond to the call by MUST’s initiative to motivate girls to excel in the subject. Malawi as a country needs its own engineers and scientists if we are to sustain the gas industry,” said Mdeza.
He said the donation was a first step towards promotion of science in the country especially at MUST as the company is considering partnering with the institution to introduce gas and oil programs in its curriculum.
“What we have done today is just the first step. In future, we are considering of partnering with MUST during the development of their curriculum so that they introduce Oil and Gas programmes for students,” said the CEO.
Speaking after receiving the cheque, MUST Executive Dean Dr Davies Mweta, who is also Chairperson of the science camp organizing committee said the university thought of organizing the girls science camp considering the fact that there is very low participation of girls in science.
“Science is mostly considered as a male dominated industry and we would like to remove that mentality by promoting girls to participate in science. We are targeting secondary school students from forms 1-3 across the country to take part in this science camp as a way of motivating them,” said Dr Mweta.
Out of the 127 students which the University enrolled in 2014, only 28 percent of those were female, a development which Dr Mweta said was not pleasing considering the fact that female population was higher than male population in the country.
“We are informed that 52 percent of the country’s population is females, so if we do not tap more from that population then we will not be doing justice to them hence we thought we should organize this science camp targeting girls,” he said.
He said the institution intends to make the girls science camp an annual event as a way of reaching out to more girls.
About 150 girls from both public and private secondary schools from across the country are expected to take part in the science camp.
During the science camp, the girls will be taken through lectures, tutorials, education visits to industries in Blantyre and motivational talks by prominent women from the country among others.
Each participant is supposed to pay an attendance fee of K50,000 for the five days.The donation made by NOCMA will go towards the support of ten needy students that cannot afford to pay the participation fees.
Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA