We need more girls in Stem

 

We have often heard people talk about things they do not like about their partners and assure themselves that they would change them once they get married.

The wise say that no one can change another person, and that God can. The smartest thing anyone can do is to accept a partner the way he or she is, because the moment they try to change them, the partner begins to think less of themselves, and that they are not good enough. Worst case scenario, the partner being changed begins to hate the changer, which might bring chaos in the relationship.

It is generally considered an unhealthy wish to get into a relationship and say you will fix someone. Our columnist, Inkosi Chimalizeni warns against trying to fix a partner on Page 5. Read that and you will see the importance of loving your partner the way they are and not the way they ought to be.

We have yet another inspiration for younger girls this week on pages 7 and 8. At 26, Edna Chilenje-Manda is flying so high in mathematics and biology, with two master’s degrees, in Mathematical Science and in Applied Mathematics, and pursuing a PhD in Applied Mathematics. She even used mathematical models to link the immunological and epidemiological dynamics of HIV infection in her research project.

This is very inspiring. Over the past few years, the global community has made a lot of efforts in inspiring and engaging girls and women in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (Stem) education. Sadly, girls and women continue to face various barriers in accessing Stem education.

A study conducted in 14 countries indicated that the probability for female students graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and Doctor’s Degree in science-related fields are 18 percent, eight percent and two percent respectively, while the percentages of male students are 37 percent, 18 percent and six percent in that order. With figures like that, it is really mind blowing to see young women like Edna flying high in areas perceived as men’s spheres.

Our hope is that there will be more girls like her, taking up the challenging roles in Stem-related professions.

Worth mentioning is the Women in Science (WiSCi) Girls Steam camp taking place at Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) from tomorrow. About 100 students from Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Liberia, Tanzania, Zambia and the United States come together for the next two weeks and get exposure to Steam, learning from other women already in the field and getting encouraged. We commend all the girls and women that are excelling in Stem. n

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