Dzaleka Community Day Secondary School from Dowa has won this year’s national schools science fair, which took place on Tuesday at Kamuzu Academy in Kasungu.
The event was organised by the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) under the theme “Scientific and Technological innovation; a Catalyst to understanding nature, with attendance of both Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje and her deputy Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima.
A form 3 Congolese student from the school, Juslin Waka presented impressive software he developed which could reduce traffic accidents if adopted by the Road Traffic Department and Police called 6GR system, to make his school an overall winner over 40 secondary schools which participated in the fair.
Speaking to the media Waka said the software could help traffic officers to easily identify drivers who habitually commit traffic road accidents and give them punishments.
“Most of vehicle drivers in the country are reckless on our roads which results into several accidents because most of them over speed or either drive while drunk.
"So with the support from the school and fellow students I thought of developing the 6GR software application which is database that enables the traffic officers to record when a driver has violated a certain rule and the software automatically sends the data to the central server while giving back feedback to the officer through phone if that particular driver once committed a similar case or another before,” he says.
In her remarks the Minister of Education, Agnes NyaLonje congratulated the school and all other schools that participated saying most students in the country have potential to become great scientists.
“I’m very much pleased with what I have seen at this fair, these students have got appealing projects and ideas which I never expected and they have got potential."
She added "As a Ministry, we will support these students by engaging them with science experts from the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) to sharpen them, so that the country should have great scientists in the near future."
Commenting on the development Director General for National Commission for Science and Technology, Professor Elijah Wanda appreciated the projects that the participating schools showcased at the fair and promised to commercialize the innovations so that students and schools should benefit.
“Since we started this science fair some 10 years ago, we have benefited a lot as a country because some of the projects have been implemented in a number of sectors especially in agriculture sector and the innovators were being awarded money.
"We have now changed the approach. As a Commission we will help these innovators with selling their projects and ideas for them to benefit a lot and contribute in our industrialization,” he said.
Dzaleka CDSS went away with K500, 000 cash prize and another K500, 000 shopping voucher from Lab Enterprise plus a Junior Talent innovation scholarship at MUST which has also been offered to other top ten winners.