Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor says her department will in this administration intensify its efforts to produce more scientists.
Pandor, who was recently installed as the Minister of Science and Technology after leading the Home Affairs Ministry, on Wednesday briefed the media on her department’s plans for the next five years.
The minister’s briefing followed a meeting with the leadership of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the entities that report to it.
Minister Pandor said in its workplace preparation programme, her department provides opportunities for 700 young and unemployed graduates to gain the relevant work experience in science, engineering and technology institutions.
She said in the coming years, the programme will grow to provide support to about 1 000 graduates and postgraduates at an annual cost of R80 million. The department intends to invest R400 million per annum to support postgraduates students.
“We need to massively expand funding in this programme to increase the number of knowledge workers in South Africa.
“The DST and its entities will therefore continue to focus on overcoming the challenges facing the South African science, technology and innovation sector, including human capital development and the continuous modernisation of scientific infrastructure such as laboratories and IT equipment, so that we can unlock the potential of science, technology and innovation to contribute to economic growth,” she said.
The minister said the country continued to make improvements in maths and science.
She said South Africa’s improvement in mathematics of 67 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) points between 2002 and 2011 (or seven points per year on average) was among the steepest seen by any TIMSS participant.
Only Ghana has seen a steeper improvement over this period.
The 2011 TIMSS pointed to improvements in mathematics and science competencies of Grade 9 learners, compared to Grade 9 learners tested in 2002. – SAnews.gov.za
The following two tabs change content below.