Group moves to reposition science as bedrock of development
• Decries declining interest of students
• Tasks govt on grants, effective supervision
The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) has taken the gauntlet to reposition science as the engine room of development. The move follows the declining interest in the subjects which the body attributes to students’ worldview of their purported non-profitable nature.
The body’s Ambassador for Nigeria, Dr. Sojinu Olatunbosun Samuel, who spoke yesterday at this year’s NEF Africa Science Week in Abeokuta, maintained that no society could transform in the absence of science and technology.
The event, an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung, comes on the heels of last week’s pronouncement by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, that sciences and local languages would be prioritised in secondary schools to make them more attractive.
According to Samuel, who is also a Senior Lecturer of Chemistry at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), students no longer see the sciences as a profitable venture because in their views, core scientists do not belong to the wealthy class in the society.
His words: “The passion to study sciences is no longer there for our youths and the value system of our society is being eroded. We have to inculcate the passion into them and let them know that science is the bedrock of human development. Without science, human beings will not be here and that is what we are trying to reawaken.”
The don regretted that youths are no longer driven by passion but money.
The flagship continental event, Samuel further noted, was to stimulate waning interest in the subjects, just as he urged all stakeholders, especially the parents and teachers, to champion the course.
He appealed to government at all levels as well as corporate organisations and philanthropists to make scholarships and grants available, urging effective supervision.
Samuel urged government to ensure effective supervision of the dedicated bodies established for the promotion of science and technology nationwide.
AIMS president and NEF Chief Executive Officer, Thierry Zomahoun, noted that the objective of the project was to develop tomorrow’s scientists and technologists by engaging children and young people in scientific activities like science caravans and Hackathons.