Deplorable state of science labs hampering technological development, NISLT laments
With research and development forming the pivot on which national development revolves around, the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT) has decried the derelict and sparse state of science laboratories in the country.
According to the institute, across the length and breadth of the country, the state of science laboratories in post-primary, tertiary institutions, research institutes, private and public industries, as well as across all sectors simply smacks of sheer negligence, and will surely hamper technological progress hence stunting meaningful development.
At a special training for technologists, scientists and administrative members of staff of NISLT on Design and Fabrication of Laboratory Equipment for Science Laboratory Technological Entrepreneurship Development in Nigeria, the Director-General/Registrar/Chief Executive officer (CEO) of the NISLT, Mr. Yemi Hezekiah Gbadegesin, said very urgent steps must be taken to address the rot in view of looming grave implications.
At the training at the National Headquarters of the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology, Samonda, Ibadan, which was in collaboration with VS0300610 Consulting Ltd., Gbadegesin regretted that science laboratories nationwide were in dire straits and needed urgent attention.
Among other things, the training was to help participants to understand design and fabrication of laboratory equipment; ensure that equipment were designed with factors such as safety, fatigue, convenience, comfort, and efficiency in mind; to ensure that participants obtain new knowledge, which may or may not be applied to practical uses; to assist in moves that eventually result in new or improved products, processes, systems, or services that can increase the institute’s outputs, and to allow participants have an understanding of research and development.
While insisting that if adequate attention was not given to science laboratories in that sector, effective development would remain elusive, the CEO advised that the government must be bullish in revamping science laboratories in various educational institutions to forestall dire consequences.
He said the initiative was taken to give adequate training to staff members to enable them perform optimally in their task of regulating laboratory practice in the country.
Apart from far-reaching improvement in laboratory practice, the director general emphasised the need for technological research and development, urging participants to move away from their comfort zones, take advantage of the training and expand their knowledge of research and development, noting that the training would also enhance their capabilities in design and fabrication of laboratory equipment.
Other papers presented at the training include, “Designing a Viable Research Proposal, by the Director of Education, Training and Inspectorate, Mr. Oluwafisoye Adefisoye, and Research Paper Writing, which was delivered by the Director, Planning, Research and Development, Mr. Pius Ikokoh.
Mrs. Michael- Uwaje Nkem Evelyn, one of the participants in her comments, stressed the importance of building the technological capacity of scientists/technologists, adding that it was important to establish facilities for institutional/vocational training for affected staff to avoid imperilling entrepreneurial competence and ideas.
She added that entrepreneurship programmes should be put in place for scientists/technologists to enable them further technological entrepreneurship development, which would ultimately provide employment and reduce poverty.
One of the attendees at the training, Adetoso Adewole, called on the management of the institute to consider establishing a glass blowing unit, which will also generate income, noting that the glass blowing unit establishment should be extended to tertiary schools as part of prerequisite for accreditation.
He added that future trainings should be geared toward needs, requests, as well as be practically oriented.
Adisa Tosin, another attendee while also commending the initiative, stated that technical staff and other members of the staff who, for one reason or the other, desire to participate in the workshop should be allowed the liberty to do so.
Staff from Abuja and other zones should be accorded the opportunity to participate as well, “while soft copy of training materials should also be given to us after the workshop.”