General News Mon, 9 Sep 2002

More girls to be exposed to science subjects

THE Minister in charge of Primary, Secondary and Girl-Child Education Ms Christine Churcher, has stated that her outfit will expose at least 10,000 girls in basic and secondary schools to Science-based subjects as part of an initiative to get at least 35 per cent of girls in senior secondary schools to choose Science as an elective subject.

The initiative will also increase the transition rate of girls from basic to senior secondary schools from 33 per cent to 50 per cent.

Ms Churcher, who said this at the 8th graduation ceremony of Taste Catering Services and Training Institute, explained that this will be done through enhancing the organisation of Science, Technology, and Mathematics Education (STME) clinic for girls.

In a speech read on her behalf, the minister said it is also the aim of the government to reduce the dropout rate among girls from 40 per cent to 10 per cent.

She expressed regret, however, that insufficient infrastructure and economic constraints are hampering government?s efforts to achieve this objective.

Eighteen students, including a male, graduated after the six-month training programme in sugar craft, cake decorating ,pastry making and knowledge in creativity. Ms Churcher said the contribution of private institutions in education will help the government to tackle the problems of the girl-child.


She urged private vocational institutions to give quality training to young people who patronise their services as this will help the government to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.

According to her 25 per cent of school going children are still out of school and most of these are engaged in deviant activities which have negatively affected the state of the society.

Ms Churcher advised parents to encourage their wards who have no basic know-how to engage in vocational training.

The proprietress of the Institute, Mrs Olivia Nelson said the training of young people is part of her efforts to support national development.

She said besides the training in catering and shaping of skills, the students also receive good moral training . Mrs Nelson observed that moral degradation and unemployment are affecting young people?s ability to make right choices in life.