Our young heroes

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Farayi Munyuki Last Wednesday, the Prime Minister inaugurated a meeting of science and mathematics teachers at Nampower Convention Centre. A handful of those who teach these two difficult subjects was in full attendance. And so were engineers and scientists. It was really a myriad of people, some of whom were later described as heroes considering what scientists have contributed to the development of society. Science has contributed immensely to the development of mankind and the world in which we live. It is because of science that we have a clearer picture of the universe; that Dr Chris Barnard was able to perform the first heart transplant. He is a hero in the field of medicine. Today, society has a clear picture of the moon and its environs, thanks to those Russians and Americans who took the long journey to the moon. They traversed the unknown and explored where no one has ever been before. Today, mankind is aware of Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon. Was it not Yuri Gagarian, the first Russian to orbit the earth? Like others, he is also our hero. And not forgetting the first black American doctor who was able to tell the medical world that our blood is composed of groups and that not all people had the same blood although it may be the same colour. Those who managed to attend the meeting also heard that not only Nelson Mandela and Sam Nujoma are our modern heroes, although they played a pivotal role in the emancipation of their countries, but the young men and women who were chaperons were not only blind and deaf but had sparkle in their eyes and they too should be considered as our modern heroes. Although it was a wonderful evening, it was the pledging of money by companies that was pathetic to say the least. The absence of many companies that solely depend on scientists and engineers for their operations was disappointing. Even those that attended were pledging N$500 for the forth-coming Science Fair. A well-known educationist pledged half of his salary towards this noble cause. So did others. Perhaps the poor show by most companies may be attributed to poor organisation. Most companies claimed that they had not been approached. And if that is the case then next year’s Fair should be properly orga-nised. Science Fairs should not only concern themselves with modernity and items that startle the mind, but should also include appropriate technology that can be better used in the rural areas. Certain crop storages in rural areas are worth mentioning at times. It’s not the presence of cold rooms that can preserve sweet potatoes and pumpkins, but also pits and ashes that our forefathers have been using before the arrival of cold rooms. Every effort should be made to make the forthcoming Science Fair memorable and winners of such fairs turned into heroes. Large companies such as TransNamib should be made to pay a special tax for the development of science in Namibia if 2030 goals are to be achieved.