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Stakeholders seek improved infrastructure, manpower to boost STEM education

By Iyabo Lawal
16 December 2021   |   4:08 am
Stakeholders in the education sector have been urged to invest in providing the much-needed infrastructure and manpower to boost Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in Nigeria.

Students

Stakeholders in the education sector have been urged to invest in providing the much-needed infrastructure and manpower to boost Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in Nigeria.

This was the consensus at the November edition of Ed-tech Monday titled “Getting to the root to strengthen STEM” held recently.

Ed-Tech Monday, an initiative of the Mastercard Foundation in partnership with ccHub Limited featured panelists from the academia and organised private sector, including Dean of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Prof Jerry Orhue, programme manager, Stemcafe, Elohor Udubrae, Founder, Vinsight Technologies, Tomisin Kolawole, and moderated by Joyce Daniel.

Prof. Orhue said there is need to give priority attention to infrastructural and manpower development to halt decline in science enrolment in Nigerian institutions, especially secondary schools.

While admitting that science education was capital intensive, Orhue urged government at all levels to ensure that science education takes the lead in their quest to contribute to national development.

He said: “I went to secondary school at a time when science was in vogue. As a student, we were inspired because government placed emphasis on science. It was always a thing of pride to be referred to as a science student back then, but somewhere along the line, the incentive for science was eroded. If we are serious about revamping science education, we need to go back to the basics. There is a decline in enrolment because the level of commitment on the part of government in the areas of time and other resources required is dying”, he said.

On his part, Kolawole noted that there is need to restructure the sector to pave way for technological inclusion in the curriculum.

Kolawole said it has become imperative for stakeholders to embrace partnership in order to foster the much-needed technological change in Nigeria and world at large.

According to him, more ed-tech entrepreneurs or start-ups need to be encouraged through policymaking to develop solutions that would make STEM education attractive to young Nigerians.

Udubrae pointed out that having the right resources and enabling environment is imperative to driving the growth of STEM education in Nigeria.

According to him, the onus lies with stakeholders, particularly ed-tech entrepreneurs, to come up with easy-to-access services that can promote STEM education.