Students set to benefit from universtiy scholarship offers

More Tanzanian students are set to benefit from scholarships offered through Young Scientists Tanzania (YST) to pursue scientific and technological studies in the country’s universities to help them advance their scientific career.

This was revealed in Dar es Salaam yesterday by YST Executive Director Dr Gosbert Kamugisha when briefing journalists about the 2016 exhibition expected to bring together 300 secondary school students from across Tanzania to showcase their innovation and 150 science teachers who have mentored them.

Kamugisha said that so far 18 students are currently pursuing scientific and technological studies in different universities in the country through the scholarships awarded to them during the previous exhibitions.

“These students were awarded university scholarships after they emerged winners in previous exhibitions. The number is set to increase this year because four more students are expected to scoop the scholarships award,” he added.

He explained that apart from scholarships award, other students would win prizes in form of cash, medals, trophies, lab equipment and library refurbishment for their schools. “Overall winners of this year’s exhibition will also be awarded all-expenses paid trip to Ireland to represent Tanzania in BT Young Scientists and Technology Exhibitions in January next year,” Kamugisha said. He added:

“Through these exhibitions YST isbuilding much need science culture by encouraging teachers and students to do hands-on-science and the use of science in finding solutions to socio-economic challenges facing our country.

” Second Secretary from the Embassy of Ireland in Tanzania, Brian Nolan said that this year’s exhibitions scheduled for August 10 and 11 will see YST displaying 150 projects that have been selected on merit following the appraisal of 400 projects submitted by schools from across Tanzania.

“Though schools are supported through workshops that give practical advice on suitable projects and research methodologies, the ideas for these projects are generated by the students themselves.” Nolan said. He said the projects presented reflect the realities of students’ daily lives in their communities and offer innovative solutions to the challenges they have identified. Nolan added the Irish embassy has provided USD147,335 (approximately over 300m/- ) as funding for 2016 YST activities.

“This funding has helped 150 secondary schools throughout Tanzania in their efforts to develop and successfully present science research projects for this year’s exhibition,” he said.

He added that, it will also be used to subsidise the costs of transport, accommodation and meals for 300 students and 150 teachers who will attend this year’s exhibition, assist with the preparation of the project display units, the hosting of the gala dinner and the facilitation of a visit by YST 2016 winners to Dublin, Ireland for the BTYTE 2017.

Since its inception in 2011 YST has succeed to encourage more students to pursue science and technological studies.

According to evaluation conducted by YST in January this year to schools which have been participating in the exhibitions since 2011, the number of students taking science subjects has increased by 8 per cent from 67 per cent in 2011 to 75 per cent in 2015 while in schools which had never taken part in showcasing science projects has increased by 3 per cent from 64 to 67 per cent.
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