A former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Prof Peter Okebukola, has said that the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in tertiary institutions will propel Nigeria’s economy to greater heights.
Okebukola said this during an event held recently to flag off lectures on STEM at the Lagos State University, Ojo.
While delivering a lecture themed, ‘An Overview of Growth of STEM and STEM Education’, he said STEM education was an interdisciplinary and applied approach to teaching and learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
“Today is a historic day in LASU because we are flagging off formal lectures for its Masters and PhD students on STEM Education. The first sets of students are expected from Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Togo.
“Fifteen students have already enrolled from Nigeria. Other students from neighbouring West African countries are expected to join early in February. Our mission is to promote excellence in the teaching and learning of STEM, through culturally-relevant, innovative and transformative models for addressing regional developmental challenges.
“We plan to produce innovative and transformative teachers that will inspire learning in STEM subjects through the delivery of a range of engaging and technology teachers to address regional development challenges,” Okebukola added.
The former NUC Executive Secretary also said the centre would correct the deficiencies in the teaching of STEM so that master trainers and the best in Africa would be produced.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Olanrewaju Fagbohun, advised the students to assume leadership roles in the understanding of STEM education and teaching science subjects. He urged them to be willing to transfer the knowledge they gained to other trainees all over Africa.
“Today’s event is significant for LASU, Nigeria and Africa because we have started lectures in our Centre of Excellence today. It is unique because Africa has a formidable challenge in the area of teaching science to students; many students run away from science because of the difficult concept involved in it.
“This centre will teach people in such a way that they will have a deep understanding of these concepts and be able to train others people,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor added that the centre would be funded by the World Bank for four years.