A Professor of Science Education, Prof. Bernadette Ezeliora, said on Thursday that massive investment in science education in primary and secondary schools would enable the country attain greater technological goals.
Ezeliora stated this in an interview in Onitsha.
She stressed the need to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the country.
The don, who lectures at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), formerly known as Anambra State University, Igbariam in Anambra advocated the principles of “catch them young’’.
Ezeliora said Nigeria’s obstacle in attaining technological growth was due to the increased science illiteracy in the society, which had resulted in students’ poor interest, achievements and performances in science courses.
“Nigerian children are growing and learning in a scientifically illiterate society; where scientific culture was not given a place of relevance.
“Nigeria needs to be STEM-literate if we are to produce scientists, technologists, engineers, medics and mathematicians to man our environment and compete with others.
“This country is blessed with more than enough human potential that can lead her to any technological height.
“What is required is to invest heavily in science education because it is the key to all developments, especially education of the young people at the primary and secondary levels,” the don said.
She also stressed the need for quality and quantity of STEM experience for children in their early stage of education, through improved training of science teachers.
According to her, our science teachers are not well prepared, coupled with the fact that science facilities to train students are not available due to paucity of funds.
“The problem is no longer the review of science subjects curriculum but quality of those who teach science subjects as well as the pedagogy for teaching science,’’ she said.
Ezeliora advocated that science teachers should be mandated to do one year course on Basic Science and Technology before they are engaged.