BY DAYO ADESULU
Two schools have emerged winners at the national robotic competition held in Lagos. Alofos Foundation, Surulere, Lagos and International School, Bayelsa were announced winners by the panel of judges after a stiff contest among 45 schools that registered for the competition across the country. Subsequently, the duo will represent Nigeria in Malaysia at the World Robotic Olympiad.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director, Arclight Limited, Mr Tayo Obasanya stated that the aim of the robotic contest is to promote science and technology amongst students from age zero to 19, adding that by engaging our children in such competition will help them to compete favourably among science and technology- driven nations.
He said; “whether you like it or not, in the next few years, the world is going to be different and one of the changing factors will be science and technology. Today, our children are exposed to science and we are hoping that with events like this, we will grab their minds and engage them early.”
On his part, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Lagos State, Mr. Adebiyi Fatai Mabadeje, while remarking on the programme said; “The competition is about robotics and it cuts across the three arms of school, primary, junior secondary and senior secondary.”
According to him, robotic competition helps to stimulate students’ ideas on how they can put into practice things they were taught theoretically in the classroom, thereby broadening their creative horizon in science and technology.
“The government will always be in support of any course that is geared towards developing the knowledge base of the children. One of our focuses is to strengthen educational sector and this is one way we hope to do that. We partner with private sector to do so because government cannot do it all alone,” he said.
Also speaking, the General Manager, Adebusola Adeniyi, Arclight Limited said the competition held at Oriental Hotel Lagos, is aimed at exposing children in terms of science and technology development because it is going to further bring interaction between the teachers and the students.
“The students should not just cram to pass, they should have hands-on experience. They should be able to build things and solve problems; they should know the solutions to these problems without having to cram. This is what lego education is doing.”
Adeniyi informed that the theme for this year’s conference is connecting people and teams from each school are expected to assemble robots to do colour sorting. As the team that builds their fastest get the robot to perform the task, will be heading to Malaysia.
She called on corporate organisations to help support disadvantaged children to get into the programme adding that with the support of corporate organisations, more children particularly the ones in public schools, will benefit from this exposure to science and technology.