The Federal Government has approved the introduction of a new programme, FunSTEM, in public schools to enhance the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
The President of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Dr Elizabeth Eterigho, made the disclosure while speaking at the closing of the 2022 APWEN national conference and AGM in Abuja on Friday.
Eterigho said the gesture would help improve the teaching and learning of STEM, especially for the girl child in Nigeria, noting that the girl child deserved access to quality education that would equip and prepare her for the challenges of the future.
She said to give the girl child opportunities to learn, achieve and excel in science, technology, and engineering solutions, there was a need to incorporate fun and excitement into STEM learning.
The APWEN President stated that such education would properly equip and make her ready to participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
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“It is observed that STEM teaching in public schools, particularly in upper primary and junior secondary school has not been effective.
“For many children, just being at school does not mean they are learning, which implies that children are not developing the skills they need to successfully transit to become fulfilled in life,” she said.
Eterigho added that the fun and excitement of FunSTEM was all about teaching with practical and demonstrative gender-responsive STEM learning in order to raise the curiosity and interest of the students.
“This would lead to taking up careers in STEM, specifically in engineering, particularly in public schools.
“The aim of the FunSTEM is to harness ‘free hands-on activities’ model in teaching STEM to raise the inquisitiveness of the students,” she said.
She said this would also make it possible for the girls to easily understand the relevancy of STEM in infrastructure and economic development of the nation.
Eterigho stated that the first edition was a two-day event held in Lagos and Port Harcourt simultaneously, saying prior to the event, teachers were trained on how to effectively teach STEM with excitement.
She added that the teachers were trained on how to impart this excitement to junior and secondary school students using recycle materials.
The APWEN President said over 30 teachers and 126 students participated from five schools in Port Harcourt and seven schools in Lagos, adding that science kits were donated to the schools’ laboratories.
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