BUJUMBURA April 4th (ABP) – The University of Burundi, in collaboration with the Organization of Women in Science for Development in Burundi “OWSD-Burundi” organized, Thursday March 31, 2022, a conference on the theme “Women scientist at the service of sustainable development in Burundi”, a check on the site by ABP has revealed.
The vice-rector of the University of Burundi, Mr. Valos Runyagu, pointed out that women are under-represented in scientific fields and that has repercussions on certain areas of the country’s socio-economic life, in particular those which require high or advanced level of hard sciences.
He also indicated that there are very few girls who dare to face these sectors and who prefer to orient themselves in more or less soft sectors, in particular literature, social sciences and humanities.
Thus, he pointed out that the social, environmental, socio-economic challenges are there as a cause of embracing the scientific sectors with great difficulty. Given that traditionally, the Burundian girl puts forward the search for a husband, even those who go to university do the literary courses and many parents do not have enough means to pay for long studies for their daughters. And a girl who is strong in mathematics is considered a little abnormal when she can attend such courses as well as boys.
According to him, the University of Burundi, to promote girls to face the scientific fields, the students of the first year in the scientific fields are privileged in the distribution of the rooms at the level of the university residence for 3 years. For 2 years, he continued, prizes have been offered to girls who have distinguished themselves in those fields.
Today, the landscape of those scientific classes has changed a lot. There are many female faces in the departments including mathematics, chemistry, physics. In a few years, there will be more female teachers at the science faculty level than there are today, he said.
Mrs. Menedore Karimumuryango, doctor in fundamental mathematics and representative of the Organization of Women in Science for Sustainable Development in Burundi, indicated that they raise awareness among girls in basic school so that they can take an interest in basic sciences which are the fundamental basis for the development of the country.
She confirmed that there are networking opportunities with other national, regional and international organizations and the possibility of scholarships that exist at African, European and elsewhere.
In addition, she added, they thought of setting up this organization when it was noted that a rate of 13% of women teachers at the university level and that of 19% of girls who are in scientific fields, a rate to be raised, she stressed.