Interswitch partners Slum2School to build STEM Lab in Makoko
Integrated digital payment company, Interswitch Limited, has partnered with Slum2School Africa, a volunteer-driven community development organisation to build a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and innovation laboratory at the Anglican Primary School, Makoko in Lagos state.
The initiative, which was borne out of the company’s goal to promote science education in Africa, in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Education, also seeks to build skills and talents based around STEM.The laboratory was equipped with laptops; books and other learning materials to enable pupils in slum communities have access to technology education.
Speaking at the commissioning of the laboratory, Chief Executive Officer, Interswitch, Mitchell Elegbe explained that the present situation requires a deliberate effort to improve STEM education in Africa, in order to solve societal challenges.
“The development and transformation of any society today is largely dependent on a skilled workforce and innovation – two factors that require strong STEM knowledge and application. And at Interswitch, we want everyone to have that opportunity. That is why we are rolling out initiatives at different levels in the country that support and promote technology education in Africa, from the InterswitchSPAK national science competition, to working with Slum2School to build STEM and innovation labs across Africa, that will ignite, increase, and reward interest in STEM education,” Elegbe added.
The founder of Slum2School Africa, Otto Orondaam, explained that the partnership with Interswitch is to ensure that access to updated and relevant knowledge is provided for every child, with the believe that the project will be the first of many more STEM and innovation Labs for children living in underdeveloped communities across Africa.
“Working with thousands of children from this community over the pa t six years, we have seen some of the brightest minds you could imagine and we know that the facility will enhance learning for every child who engages with it, not just from Makoko but across Lagos state.
He further added that Slum2School has provided scholarships and various learning centers to over 1,000 children from the Makoko community, noting that it is committed to providing access to quality education and psycho-social support for disadvantaged children in other slums and remote communities across Africa.
Also speaking at the event, the director of Slum2School Africa, Emrys Ijaodola said the choice of Makoko was based on the community’s needs and kids’ talents identified in the area.