Achievements and Challenges of STEM Education in Nigeria.

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New Eligibility Rules for the University of California? The Effects of New  Science Requirements - Public Policy Institute of California
Science students in practical class



 


Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are very important for the development and economic growth of any country. STEM is a very useful tool which can be applied to real life situations and problems using scientific research, experiment, skills and critical thinking to achieve satisfactory results.

 

Our world is changing rapidly as a result of the application of STEM. For any sort of advancement in technology in the world, good STEM education is necessary.

STEM education has produced a number of scientists, engineers, and technicians, innovators who work in various fields to develop the nation economically, socially, culturally and industrially. In Nigeria, knowledge of STEM has contributed largely to our political, social, economic and industrial development. It has enabled the provision of basic amenities such as good roads, electricity, pipe borne water, good houses, well equipped modern hospitals, as well as various materials for construction in industries, automobiles and factories.

The Importance of STEM (Science, Technological, Engineering and  Mathematics) in Nigeria | Nickzom Blog
The importance of STEM (Science.... nickzom.org

 

STEM related subjects are used in solving problems resulting from human interaction with the environment like pollution. CODEFEST International organizes coding bootcamps in Nigeria for children between the ages 6 - 17 years. These kids develop apps, games and web pages using either scratch, HTML and Python. So far the bootcamp has produced award winning STEM ambassadors who are innovators and programmers at the primary and secondary school level. This bootcamps are a good push for young talented kids in Nigeria bringing out creativity in them.

Thanks to STEM, an e-commerce platform which uses THEMAP app that guides people to multiple places both online and offline in real time and interactively in delivery business using delivery bikes. TheMap is a one of kind application that is a web app and also a mobile app used for easy online navigation from the comfort of one’s home to places beyond reach. It is automated location put in one platform. It is a technological driven map owned by TheMap.ng. TheMap.ng, an ecommerce platform, redesigned actual reality to virtual reality using this unique app. They have made life easy with technology through STEM  using simple applications to automate several locations, processes, value chains, systems to make daily living operations simple and at the same time empowering people.  

 

STEM presence is also felt in the education sector. This is because implementing mobile learning in schools, homes and organizations require definite tools, technologies and skills on both the demand and supply side of learning. A measure of reorientation and reconstruction of conventional understanding of the learning process is necessary to make the shift from physical to digital learning platforms. As a result of this, a course is designed with teachers, students, parents, school managers and policy makers considering their respective roles as stakeholders in the entire educational learning and development value chain delivery. This course identifies these unique roles and provides insightful learning contents to adequately equip each stakeholder with the skill set and experience required to play the role effectively.

 

However, despite the above mentioned visible achievements of STEM education in Nigeria, the number of jobs requiring STEM based skills is on the increase as well as technology companies. But the Nigerian graduates are not well equipped with the necessary skills to fill out these jobs. This is as a result of the numerous challenges which the STEM education undergoes here in Nigeria. These challenges include: 

 

  • Teaching methods
  • Language
  • Wanning Interest of students
  • Poverty
  • Poor school funding
  • Poorly trained teachers
  • Inadequate learning aids
  • Incessant strikes
  • Resource utilization among others.
How to Get Students to Think Like Scientists | Asia Society
Students think like scientists asiasociety.org

 

Science education is the foundation of scientific and technological breakthrough of any nation. So far overall student's scores in science subjects have been very poor here in Nigeria.

Students are not motivated enough to pursue their passion in a STEM related field which leaves them unprepared for the opportunities and challenges of the industrialized world. Nigeria is definitely populated with very brilliant youth of school age. But how many of these kids apply for STEM related disciplines in UME every year? 

Interest of the students need to be stimulated in order to learn apart from their intellectual and physical capability.

 

It is the job of the STEM teachers to ensure that students are well equipped with the needed skills that will prepare them for the job market as well as ensure that they can handle any problem solving situations that they come across.

The teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics should be done practically as well in order to get the best out of these disciplines. But in Nigeria there is more of theory in some institutions due to lack of qualified professional teachers to handle the practical aspects. 

US restates commitment to STEM education in Nigeria - Vanguard News
STEM Education in Nigeria vanguardngr.com

 The sciences have a language which both the teachers and students need to understand to be able to express themselves well. Mathematics, physics, Chemistry is expressed in symbols and equations. As a result, those students who are poor in mathematics may not be able to handle calculation in physics, and chemistry which are mathematical in nature. Language is both verbal and non-verbal communication. For effective teaching and learning to take place, there must be proper communication between teacher and students.

 

Here in Nigeria strike is one the challenges which students have. This increases the number of years which the students are supposed to graduate. 

 

STEM teachers need enough teaching and learning aids to teach effectively in the classroom as well as the school's lab. STEM teaching involves a lot of practical and experiments to solve problems by the students. But the teachers don't have  enough learning aids to teach or stimulate the interest of the students. Practical is the best way to teach STEM in a way the students will understand and also be motivated. This could be as a result of poor funding of these institutions where STEM is taught or the poor resources utilization which will ensure that the teachers and students have enough learning aids starting from  basic education to the university level.

 

Courtesy: Beatrice Akaeme

 

STEM Ambassador for CODEFEST International.








 




 

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