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Zimbabwe’s Health Minister Contemplates Removing Mathematics Requirement for Nursing Training, Considers Scrapping English Requirement


Zimbabwe’s Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Douglas Mombeshora has explained why mathematics is not a mandatory entry requirement for those wishing to study nursing in the country.

Addressing newsmen following an advert which mentioned English and Science as compulsory subjects for nursing training, Mombeshora stated that they do not consider mathematics as a mandatory subject for nursing training because it is not relevant in the medical field. He said they have retained science because it is relevant to nursing training.

He said;

“Maths is a requirement in terms of training in the medical field. Let’s start with medicine. I am a medical doctor. The key subject for you to go into medicine is chemistry. so we have retained science subjects as a key subject to go into nursing. We are actually leaving a lot of people who have the capacity and capabilities out of the training because of Maths. We know very much that Maths has not been a subject that has been passed well. So the policy that our President says ‘Leaving no one and no place behind’, we also want to make sure that people should not be disadvantaged by just putting a subject with no relevance to the training.”

The Minister also disclosed that the government is considering removing English from the list of compulsory subjects for admission into nursing training. Membeshora added that since all other subjects considered for nurse training are taught in English, passing English itself should not be deemed necessary. According to him, pursuing a career in nursing does not equate to pursuing a degree in English, making it an unnecessary requirement.

He said; 

“We are still looking into a way of recruiting more people who are committed to nursing and we are still looking at other issues like. ‘Is passing English with a C important?’ because anyone who has passed any of these subjects has been taught in English and if you go to universities outside Zimbabwe let’s say English for communication and not to pass English as if you want to go and do a degree in English. So we will keep on reviewing and make sure that we make accessibility to training in various disciplines affordable and accessible to all citizens of Zimbabwe.”

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