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STEM education, crucial for societal growth- Expert

.As Agbami STEM symposium, awards holds

Benjamin Omoike

Executive Director, Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN), and Chairman World Conference, ICASE; Dr. Ben Akpan, has stressed the need to integrate Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) education and 21st Century skills in the service of societal needs and development.

Akpan, who was speaking at the Agbami STEM Symposium, with the theme, ‘Promoting Excellence in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Teaching & Learning’, said STEM provides so many benefits to society, among which are; economic, utilitarian, democratic, social and cultural.

Delivering his keynote address tagged; ‘Integrating STEM & 21st Century Skills: Innovative Approaches to STEM education’, the erudite scholar said: “We must realise that STEM has a dual mandate, namely- scientific literacy for all and preparation of future careers in related professions.

“Science in general, and STEM in particular, would therefore highlight and have a core focus on problem solving, creativity, analytic thinking, collaboration, communication, ethics, action and accountability. These are universal standards required for growth in any society. For me, in Nigeria our challenge lies in the area of ethics, action and accountability.

“It is in this area that we have been unable to get it right. At the other levels, we try to pull our weight but at the level of ethics- which involves taking action and being accountable, we still have a lot to do as a nation.”

Akpan, along with other speakers at the event, stressed the need to improve on the teaching of science subjects in schools, while encouraging teachers to be on their toes and abreast with latest innovations in their various subjects- so as to be up-to-date and more professional in the discharge of their duties.

He enjoined teachers to embrace honesty at all times, in their dealings with their pupils and students. To the students, he admonished them to be focused and totally committed to their subjects. He charged them to work hard, study hard and research new materials everytime.

Other notable speakers at the event included: Richard Kennedy, Dr. Dolapo Ogunbanwo, Esimaje Birkum, Abolaji Osime and Baba Ikazoboh.

The event, which held at the Honeywell Auditorium of the Lagos Business School (LBS), witnessed students, teachers and schools; that had demonstrated excellence, being rewarded for their outstanding performances.

The Agbami STEM Symposium was held in conjunction with notable partners such as Chevron, NNPC, Statoil and. Petrogras.

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