Educationist canvasses integration of STEAM into school curriculum
To make Nigerian children globally competitive and technologically relevant, a non-governmental organisation, STEAM Empowerment Foundation (SEF) has canvassed the promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Crafts and Mathematics by government at all levels.
Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Olabisi Ozo-Onyali who made the appeal in Lagos posited that in order to prepare our children for the future workplace, make them competitive amongst their global contemporaries and develop Nigeria to become a first world country, we must go the way of China and other great economies of the world by adapting foreign ideas to local needs, and prepare the future generation to meet these needs.
Ozo-Onyali who advocated the replacement of STEM education in the country’s schools with STEAM explained that this system exposes children and youths to different hands-on programmes that would help ignite a passion and strengthen their skills with a view to raising innovators and inventors.
She explained that STEAM education, which involves an educational approach that focuses on one or more disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Crafts, and Mathematics would assist in providing necessary skills that can advance an underdeveloped nation by improving global competitiveness.
“However, this form of education is being undermined in Nigeria. It faces certain challenges, which include poor school funding, waning interest of students, unqualified teachers and poor learning aids.
“Research has shown that 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations now require STEM skills and less than 30 percent of those currently schooling in tertiary institutions are studying a course that involves STEM.
It has also been shown that most first world countries ranked high in inventions and innovations also lead in STEM education. Our country needs a workforce that is technologically savvy and able to innovate which is achievable if STEAM education is promoted.
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