Africa faces huge challenges in reforming its education sector. Many people are still not learning what they need to thrive now and in the future. If current trends continue, by 2050 some one-third of Africa’s one billion young people will lack basic proficiency in math, reading, and other subjects. Millions will be unemployable and unproductive.
Recognizing this, STEMi Makers Africa in partnership with the U.S Consulate General, Lagos organized the STEM Integration and Development Training for Educators in the South-Eastern region of Nigeria for Educators to adopt new skills and knowledge that will strengthen competencies, particularly in STEM and digital literacy, for students to effectively transition from education to employment.
This project was held in the four eastern states of Nigeria, that is, Abia, Imo, Enugu, and Anambra state.
The project commenced from February 1-12, 2021, during which STEMi Makers Africa visited each of the states for a 2-day intensive and hands-on training. Each of these states brought together a diverse group of Science and Technology, Education, and socio-economic empowerment stakeholders, and encouraged practical hands-on activities around improving teaching practices and learning outcomes through quality capacity building for Educators in the South-Eastern region of Nigeria.
Educators were exposed to design thinking, programming, circuiting, embedded systems, prototyping, computing, STEM Pedagogy, skills of the future, and entrepreneurship. The program also encouraged break-out sessions for Educators to identify existing societal problems and come up with sustainable solutions like products, applications, and technology innovation.
Commissioner of Science and Technology of Enugu State; Sir Obi Kama in Enugu on attended the February 8 edition of the event, while the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education of Abia State, Sir Eze Ajuzie in Umuahia, and Remy Chukwunyere, a representative of the former Chief of Staff to the Imo State Government, Uche Nwosu Ugwumba in Owerri attended on respective days to show their support.
A representative and the Strategy Lead of STEMi Makers Africa, Amanda Obidike, stated that the project is to empower educators to raise students’ achievements in STEM “so that they can excel and become more experienced for Africa’s workforce. The future economic growth of Africa depends on an aligned education and future-focused system that supports developmental efforts in generating talents needed to become self-reliant and problem-solvers using Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, and Innovation,” Amanda said.
To remain competitive in a growing global economy, we must raise students’ achievement in STEM subjects and skills. “This is why we are therefore looking forward to ensuring that educators serve as role models, career and academic supporters, and as nurturers of the younger generation. We will be following up on the schools, Educators, and their students towards ensuring they are given the adequate and technical support they need,” Amanda assured TheAfricanDream.net in an interview.
Key Stakeholders at the event noted that educators are foundational in preparing students for a world where they must collaborate with others, adapt quickly to change, and where success will hinge on attitudes and behaviors as well as knowledge.
Resource partners that were present at the project included the U.S Consulate General; Lagos, Ministry of Science and Technology, Enugu State, the Ministry of Education, Abia State, and supporting partners like the Ugwumba Leadership Academy, TheAfricanDream.net, General Electric, Calal Global, the MAI Foundation and Global Shapers, Ozubulu.
Some 289 educators selected from the public, private, and missionary secondary schools across the participating states were present.