By Elizabeth Osayande
The Administrator, Vivian-Fowler Memorial College for Girls, Lagos, Mrs. Olufunke Fowler-Amba, has expressed delight over the students of her school being the only girls among Nigeria’s representatives at the just-concluded Virtual Robotics Competition for Students.
The girls are aged between 11 and 15.
The students are Harriet Ariyo and Laila Eneche, who are in SS2, others are Ayoyimika Adebayo and Sarah Olomoji.
They vowed that their participation in the global robotics competition would make the school, the nation and African continent proud.
Noting that the school’s dream was to become a Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, STEM school that would change the face of women in the workforce, Fowler-Amba explained that the federal government needed to revamp the education sector in order to prepare students that would be globally competitive.
“Our vision is to become a STEM school, a technology school, one that is changing the face of women in the workforce. One of the things that we emphasize as a school is that there is a balance. Not only as a female, you are going to be a wife tomorrow, you are also going to be successful in your profession.
“Our vision is to go beyond the curriculum to emphasize teamwork and collaboration; to celebrate those soft-skills that will make people reach their peak in whatever career they choose, “ she said.
Speaking of the level of preparation the girls put in for the competition, the school administrator reiterated the importance of building a culture of excellence.
Her words: “We have built a culture, we have let them know that we are capable. It’s not about being a Nigerian, it’s about using your ability and travelling on the road of being a life-learner, the sky is the limit.
“They are very prepared. They have incorporated skills that other teams globally have which is dedication. Investing a lot of hours in whatever they are doing. They are prepared because what we should take as a nation is that if you build a culture regardless of where you are, you are able to be successful.”
On the need to revamp the curriculum to reflect the 21st century needs, Fowler-Amba said, “We need to revamp our curriculum. It is based on a past glory, on skills that are becoming extinct, and on skills that will not prepare children to be entrepreneurs among others.
“For us we know that the future is technology. And we need to redirect our curriculum because there are certain skills that are needed beyond the 21st century which involves collaboration and teamwork.
“We need to look at a place like Ghana. It has incorporated robotics into its curriculum and that is what the Federal Government should look into because by doing that, we are going to improve human capital. Human capital is very poor right now.
“The government should look at other developed countries and even the emerging economies, see that one of the things they have done is that they have injected technology into all aspects of whatever they do.”