Implementing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education: A Case of Four Single Sex Secondary Schools in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Zimbabwe

Passionate Ncube, Lwazi Sibanda


The purpose of the study was to examine the implementation of STEM education in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province single sex Secondary Schools. This study was qualitative in nature, guided by interpretivist paradigm, and used case study design. The population encompassed seven single sex secondary schools. Participants who included one district schools inspector, four school heads, four heads of departments, sixteen science teachers and forty learners were purposively sampled from four schools. Data were collected through face-to-face semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions, coded and analysed thematically. The results of the study indicated that standard laboratories were available to facilitate the implementation of STEM education in single sex secondary schools.  The study further revealed that most of the teachers who taught STEM subjects had relevant qualifications and used various methods to encourage learner participation in STEM education. Additionally, the study established that learners were actively involved in science exhibitions and olympiads which gave learners hands-on experience in STEM subjects.  It also emerged from the findings that some female learners are highly confident in taking up STEM subjects and are not afraid to compete against their male counterparts.  However, the findings of the study revealed that the implementation of STEM education in single sex schools was constrained by lack of well-equipped science laboratories, lack of financial resources to purchase learning materials, especially chemicals, large class sizes, negative attitude towards STEM subjects by some learners, and limited parental involvement in their children’s learning. The study concluded that single sex schools created an enabling environment for learner engagement and afforded both male and female learners equal access to STEM education despite the challenges encountered. The study recommends that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should expedite the construction of well-equipped laboratories and provision of material and financial resources.

Keywords: STEM education, STEM subjects, secondary school education, single sex schools, implementation

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