“We have made enormous strides towards [technological advancement] although we still remain with many challenges given the history of where we come from,” Nzimande told CNBC Africa on the sidelines of the WEF Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China.
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The Higher Education Minister added that South Africa’s progress was supposed to be understood in her historical context.
“We are only 20 years from one of the most vicious apartheid regimes.
“Nzimande added that the country has raised the level of participation in the education system.
“In so far as the schooling deliverables on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), indications are that we will meet the requirements by the 2015 deadline,” he noted.
Education is believed to be a major catalyst for human development.
Nzimande says higher education in South Africa has expanded significantly as the country now has a high number of blacks and women in the higher education sector.
He added that the country was investing a lot in modern infrastructure which will help it to catch up with other economies.
On technology academic advancement, he noted that the country has dedicated mathematics and science schools.
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“STEM Education is the number one priority in the country and President Jacob Zuma is leading from the front,” said Nzimande.
STEM is an acronym referring to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
According to Nzimande, the apartheid policy denied black pupils’ opportunities to mathematics and science subjects saying it was unlikely that black students would rise to a certain level of labour.
The Annual Meeting of the New Champions this year focuses on how innovation can generate more and better value for all.