Nigerian government on Tuesday announced the donation of locally-made science kits to high schools in the country as a way of empowering local students and teachers to enhance their skills in science and mathematics.
The move is to stimulate the interest and curiosity of young citizens in the study of science and mathematics, Minister of Science and Technology Ogbonnaya Onu said during the distribution of the science kits and training of teachers on how to use them in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
“We have noticed in our secondary schools that many are reluctant to study mathematics and science subjects. This situation is not good for our country. We know that we need many of our young people to be interested in the study of mathematics and sciences. This has become very important because we need to produce the necessary manpower that can help us to effectively utilize the abundant natural resources we have in virtually all parts of our country,” Onu said.
The locally-made basic science kits donated to the schools across the country included test tubes, bunsen burners, and measuring equipment, among others. They were produced by the Scientific Equipment Development Institute in the country’s southeastern state of Enugu.
According to Onu, with the use of these science kits, local students could further explore the different branches of science including chemistry, biology, physics, ecology, and astronomy.
“We have for long depended on other countries to meet our needs in many of the equipment, machines, industrial services needed for national development. Nigeria has human beings, who, if properly educated, can fully exploit and convert her abundant natural resources into products and services needed at home, in our schools, hospitals, laboratories, offices, and factories,” the minister said.
He said the continuous reliance on other countries by Nigeria was becoming “unacceptable”, noting the situation had aggravated unemployment, as importation could limit job creation in the country.
“It has become necessary to educate Nigerians in such a way that they embrace the study of science and mathematics. We are convinced that by doing this, we can produce the things we need and export the surplus to other countries. We will, therefore, be in a position to strengthen our currency, create jobs and wealth for our citizens, initially reduce poverty, and ultimately eliminate it, as well as strengthen our self-reliance,” he added. Enditem