LASU begins lecture on home-grown STEM education techniques with 15 students

The Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, on Tuesday officially commenced lecture on the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education using the home-grown mechanism that factors in African cultural contexts and humour.

The lecture was declared open by the vice chancellor of the university, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun, with Professor Peter Okebukola, the director of the Africa Centre of Excellence for Innovative and Transformative STEM Education (ACEITSE) that is handling the programme, taking the first lecture on ‘Overview of the Growth and Future of STEM and STEM Education from the course title, ‘ACE 812 Trends in STEM Education’ shortly thereafter.

A total of 15 pioneer students comprising 10 masters and five doctoral students from across Nigeria were in attendance, while many more from Ghana, Benin Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and The Gambia and other West African countries are expected to join in February.

In his remarks at a brief ceremony, the vice chancellor said he was happy to see the centre officially begin the lecture, enjoining students to ensure they focus and do well in their studies.

Professor Fagbohun urged the students to bear it in mind that they were being trained to become great teachers in their respective disciplines with a view to producing a crop of professionals with knowledge and skills that would help transform the social-economic narrative of Africa from poor to a wealthy continent.

He noted that it is lack of innovation and creativity that put many African countries perpetually behind the developed countries in the comity of nations, hence the purpose of this training to break the jinx.

While congratulating the director of the centre and his team on the commencement of the programme, especially while he is still the vice chancellor of LASU, Fagbohun promised that the university would give the centre necessary support.

Speaking earlier, Professor Okebukola, a former executive secretary of the National Universities Commission, said the centre is being funded by the World Bank and will do that only for four years (till 2023, as the project started in 2019).

Okebukola re-emphasised that the overall aim of the centre is to produce graduates that would teach science subjects in schools by using indigenous mechanisms that would help address the developmental challenges confronting African countries.

Naming the home-grown technique as ‘Culturo-Techno-Contextual Approach (CTCA)’, Okebukola said the innovation, which covers three segments –culture, technology and context –took him and his team 15 years to develop.

He said research had shown that students taught using cultural contexts relating to their immediate environment are more equipped to do greater things that can help move the society forward faster and better.

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