APWEN seeks support for girl child in STEM field
The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, (APWEN) has reiterated the need to support the girl child in developing interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields as a means to build an army of future engineers for Nigeria.
The association stated that the support could come in form of scholarships for the girl child to study STEM related courses in higher institutions, technical training as well as role modeling/mentorship.
The President of APWEN, Funmilola Ojelade, spoke at the grand finale of the third edition of the yearly Mayen Adetiba’s technical boot camp for 60 junior secondary school girls picked from the six educational districts of Lagos.
Speaking on the theme ‘Sustainable strategy in meeting portable water supply/demand’, Ojelade emphasised that as engineers, excellence in STEM subjects was needed to study engineering. According to her, experience has shown that many girls and boys avoid these very important subjects because they find it difficult.
She said: “They find it difficult because of the way their teacher handles the delivery of the subject. So, as part of this programme, we had a train-the-trainers session where the teachers were taught how to help their students fall in love with STEM subjects. Our intention in all of these is to take steps toward the fulfillment of our mission as an association, which is to increase the number of women that are practicing engineering.
“So, we want to inspire these children to desire to study engineering and at the same time, show the teachers how to help us in making this happen.”
In an interactive session with pupils and other participants, the Managing Director of Lagos Water Corporation, Muminu Badmus, said water supply was a social service as it was highly subsidised.
He said there were challenges in ensuring regular water supply across Lagos, stressing that it is capital intensive and requires constant power supply amid low availability of funds.
Badmus, an engineer, acknowledged that the supply capacity is presently low in the state due to some of these challenges.
However, he told the pupils that the state government is doing its best to improve supply, bring in private sector participation and set up more water stations across the state especially, for residents in the Lekki axis of the state.
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