By Favour Nnabugwu
The United Nations Edicational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO has teamed up with Nigeria to tackle the dearth of mathematics and science students by promoting teaching and learning of the subjects at the basic and secondary levels.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. MacJohn Nwaobiala, in his address to declare open the workshop for stakeholders in South-South Zone, held in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State recently, said that the Nigeria-UNESCO Special Science, Technology and Mathematics project initiated in 2005 was aimed at addressing the dearth of adequate and qualified science teachers, as well as laboratory equipment and science kits in schools.
Dr. Nwaobiala who was represented by Engr. Michael Kalu Ofor, further said that the workshop was to enlist the support and partnership of all stakeholders in meeting the laudable objectives of the Nigeria-UNESCO Special science project, SMTE.
The Federal Ministry of Education had organised advocacy and sensitization workshop for Commissioners of Education, chairmen of SUBEBs and directors in states’ Ministry of Education in the six geo-political zones so as to expose stakeholders to funding, ownership and sustainability of Nigeria-UNESCO Special Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education, STEM project.
In his opening remarks, the Director, Technology and Science Education, Engr. Michael K. Ofor, represented by Mr. Ifedigbo Sylva, said that though the pilot phase of the project was successfully implemented between 2005 and 2009, only few schools benefited, ‘’hence it became necessary that the privileges enjoyed by these selected few should spread to the rest of the schools in the federation.”
He disclosed that some of the science laboratory equipment including micro-science kit can be manufactured locally by the Federal Science Equipment Centre, Lagos; National Agency for Science and Engineering (NASENI) and Science Equipment Development Institute (SEDI), and enjoined participants to liaise with any of these agencies in sourcing science laboratory equipment for their schools.