Funding crucial to sector’s growth, development, says expert
She noted that the quality of education has to be upgraded to stimulate personal discoveries and experiential learning that elevates and culminates in career shaping discoveries for students to become problem solvers.
Merino who spoke at a forum themed ‘The African Stream (TAS) initiative called on the government to support those who have passion for education, as they cannot do it alone.
She explained that the TAS project is a forum for students to explore the wonders of Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Science (STREAMS) through collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and citizenship.
“The medium for presentation includes interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative programs and awe-inspiring films. We advocate and provide transformative solutions that fill the gap in classroom learning and take education outside the four walls. We present a united African continent, with educated children who think critically, creatively, work collaboratively and participate in the global economy as ethical citizens.
Merino added that rapid changes in the world—including technological advancement, scientific innovation, increased globalisation, shifting workforce demands, and pressures of economic competitiveness are redefining the broad skill sets that students need to be adequately prepared to participate in, and contribute to today’s society.
She hinted that well-trained graduates in science and technology based discipline can help their countries find effective, cost-efficient, home- grown solutions to their pressing developmental problems, particularly on poverty, food security, climate change, urbanisation and health.
“The poor quality of government education and low investment has put the sector in a state of crisis in many African countries. The standard of education in many parts of Nigeria has deteriorated very badly, so much so that we have lost our position as a leading nation in Africa.
“Poor access to quality education at all levels – from basic primary to tertiary education – is a serious and nagging problem across Nigeria. Many more Nigerians are beginning to understand that education is one of the few bridges out of poverty.”
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