By Vera Anyagafu
Collaborating to reaffirm the importance of science and technology Nigeria and United States educators in a roundtable discussion at the US Consulate general Lagos held recently encouraged Nigerian students to become more inclined in sciences so as to help save the Nigeria economy.
The brainstorming sessions, under the title ‘Grooming the next generation of Scientists in Nigeria’, brought together Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe, former Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Dr. John P. Boright, Exeutive Director of International Affairs of the U.S national Academies, Professor Adenike Osofisan, Nigeria’s first female professor of Computer Sciencea, respectively analyzed sciences as the key to economic recovery.
Describing science as the only solution to a progressive economy, Professor Osofisan advocated the need for science teachers to do more of practical than theoretical, so as to enable better future scientists, stating that, “ A vast majority of Nigeria science teachers, do not take the pains of making their student pass through all the technical aspect of the whole process, thereby producing scientists who are no where to be reckoned with in the society”.
Adding that, “ Technical skills sharpen for functional education and for this to be achievable, government and the whole school system must play innumerable role to producing the next generation of scientists that will help grow the society and the country as a whole.
Teaching sciences in a well equipped environment is the basic, but whereby there are limited resources, tap into the internet i-labs to perform the experiments. Do not start with the attitude of ‘it is not possible’, because that will undermine the whole processes.”
On his part, the U.S speaker Dr. John, enumerated various strategies that are determining factors to achievable next generation of scientists in Nigeria, one of which he noted, is provision of free and open inquiry, paramount to advance global development.