Experts seek special funding for STEM education

EXPERTS have called on government at all levels to allocate special funding to Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in Nigeria as a means of encouraging students and boosting education in the country.

This was the consensus of educationists and representatives of the ministry of education in Oyo State at the launch of the Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination (UTME) of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) clinic by the Alfred Komolafe Educational Foundation (AKEF) in collaboration with the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) and Mathematics Association of Nigeria (MAN), which was held at the Bishop Phillips Academy, Iwo Road, Ibadan, Oyo State.

Speaking at the event, the chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr Nureni Adeniran, noted that the Oyo State government would not relent in its efforts in taking education to a greater height as well as encourage any organisation or well-meaning Nigerian within the state and beyond to support the state’s education system.

Adeniran, who was represented at the event by the secretary of the board, Mr Olusanjo Adeniyi, commended the brains behind the Alfred Komolafe Educational Foundation (AKEF) for their commitment to empower students and provide easy access to education.

In his remarks, the founder of the initiative, Dr Alfred Komolafe, stressed the need for the government at both the federal and state levels to provide a good stimulus for pragmatic science and technology education.

“As a matter of urgency, both federal and state legislatures must appropriate special funding for STEM education in Nigeria,” he said.

Komolafe stated that the reason for putting up the foundation was to give back to humanity, saying “it is important that we give our quota to humanity, especially to our home country.

‘‘This is why we have launched this initiative as a give-back to the society.

We are providing free extra-curriculum classes for six months in preparation for the UTME and organising a mock UTME test online for the students simply because most of them do not have personal computers.

“Expecting them to perform well without preparing them for the online examinations would be an arduous task.

‘‘We shall also provide free Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) forms to 100 students.

He appreciated the efforts of the Oyo State governor, Mr Seyi Makinde in laying a solid educational foundation for students in the state as well as his commitment toward reducing the unemployment and poverty rates in the state through his lofty initiatives.

The chairman of the Pace-setter Transport Services, Honorable Dare Adeleke, who chaired the occasion noted that “STEM is beneficial to the growth of a society and country and the only way Nigeria could measure up to other countries, especially the advanced countries, in development, is by concentrating on sciences as the world is now driven by science and technology.”

The Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Diaspora Affairs, , Bolanle.A Sarumi-Aliyu, said that people must appreciate the efforts of the Oyo State government in transforming education, acknowledging the effort of the brains behind the initiative.

The event also featured award presentations to academic experts including, the permanent secretary, Post Primary Schools Teaching Service Commission, Oyo State, Mrs Grace Olabisi Oderinde.

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