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Abiodun, Austen-Peters, others urge STEM education for young girls

By Tobi Awodipe
21 March 2020   |   4:20 am
Prominent women, including Her Excellency, First Lady, Ogun State, Bamidele Abiodun have called on more schools to expose young girls to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

Bolanle Austen-Peters, Linda Adeyemi Haastrup, Kemi Balogun, First Lady, Ogun State; H.E Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun (middle) Folakemi Fatogbe and Director Hampton Preparatory School; Iyefe Oludoyi at the unveiling of the Hampton Preparatory Upper School in Lagos…recently

Prominent women, including Her Excellency, First Lady, Ogun State, Bamidele Abiodun have called on more schools to expose young girls to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. This is to ensure gender balance and for more young girls to take up career opportunities in these fields.

She and other women spoke at the official opening of Hampton Preparatory School’s new upper school location. The schools Directors, Kemi Balogun, Linda Adeyemi-Hastrup and Iyefe Oludoyi explained, “The progress of every child is very important to us, we aim to nurture and support all abilities, helping every child to achieve his/her potential in all areas of learning: intellectual, emotional, physical, social, moral, spiritual and cultural. it is extremely critical that girls are encouraged to take up STEM subjects all through primary and secondary school years, in order to see increasing numbers of females in STEM careers in the future.”

Speaking on the country’s educational sector, they said it is no surprise that there is an overall national systemic disengagement from the core structures necessary to take the education system into the 21st centruary which has given birth to a range of private schools with varying standards. “Our decision to set up HPS was driven by an innate desire to role model the very best education has to offer. The school has been set up in a way that is  guaranteed to reflect a happy, structured and progressive learning environment for each child. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which we employ, sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years old and gives all professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver good quality early education and childcare experiences to all children. The curriculum covers communication and language development, physical development, personal, social, and emotional development, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design. STEM is introduced to children by the toys they play with, role models and play sessions where female STEM professionals tell children about what they do, mathematics and the principles of science through play. Young girls are encouraged to play and explore (develop early critical thinking and reasoning skills) with the optimism that they will be interested in STEM subject areas and developcareers in STEM in the future.”

Since its inception in September 2017, the school has been able to achieve a remarkable level of success allowing it to further expand with the recent unveiling of their new upper school location and in order to commemorate this milestone, an official opening ceremony was organized. Present at the event were Her Excellency, First Lady, Ogun State, Bamidele Abiodun, a representative from the British Deputy High Commission, Peter Thomas Esq., Konyin Ajayi, Board of Governors, Bolanle Austen-Peters and Folakemi Fatogbe, the school’s directors, Kemi Balogun, Linda Adeyemi-Haastrup and Iyefe Oludoyi as well as parents, guests, and well-wishers.

In her opening address, Austen-Peters stated, ‘Education is about touching the hearts and souls of each student, letting them explore their God-given talent. 21st-century education should not be centered only on the basics, Maths, English, Science, etc, It should also give young people the ability to think outside the box and the opportunity to explore their passions” which HPS addresses with co-curricular activities such as drama, ballet, music, swimming, fencing, taekwondo, etiquette and elocution classes. Following this was the unveiling of the commemorative plaque by the first lady and Peter Thomas Esq.