Lack of science laboratories in the country’s secondary schools is said to be a major contributing factor to most female students’ poor performance in science subjects.
The observation was made in Chikhwawa recently when Women in Science, a grouping of women in science careers conducted a career talk aimed at motivating girls to change their attitude towards science subjects which include physical science, biology, agriculture and mathematics.
Over 200 female students from Chikwawa Secondary School, St Michaels and Mthumba Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSSs), West Bank Private Secondary School, as well as St Lawrence Girls Catholic Secondary School participated in the event.
Out of the five schools, only St Lawrence Girls Catholic Secondary School has modern science and computer laboratories.
Janelisa Mwalija, a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology at the College of Medicine (CoM) urged school authorities to set up science clubs and organize laboratory exchange visits so that other schools withoit such facilities benefit.
“Our goal is to change the attitude of these girls towards science and deal with gender disparities several studies have reported that have shown that girls have more negative attitudes towards science subjects than boys,” she said.
Her counterpart, Tawina Mlowa, an associate lecture in Applied Science at the Polytechnic encouraged the girls to keep working hard despite facing several challenges.
“I know it’s not easy, we are aware of the challenges these girls are going through but we still encourage them to hold on till they reach their goal,” she urged.
The Women in Science group is funded by a Norwegian organisation called NOHRED Antimicrobial Stewardship and Conservancy in Africa.