Sunday Okobi and Ugo Aliogo
The Director, Design and Technology Innovation Company, Stanley Agwu, has called on the federal government to increase investment in Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) especially with a focus on entrenching the initiative at the primary school level in the country.
Agwu, who disclosed in Lagos at the Interactive Presentation and Exclusive Networking Reception with HME Technology, said investment in the technology space would help drive growth, and increase Nigeriaâ€™s competitive in technology and manufacturing with the Western World.
He also stated that as a group they are focused on introducing design technology an initiative under STEM in primary schools, stressing that it is the foundational level where the mind of the child is formed and developed.
The technologist explained that the product they have developed is between N9, 500 and N10, 000 per child, adding that it would assist a child for one year period because it is curriculum based and there are three kits stages (kit stage one, Kit stage two and kit stage three).
Agwu added that one of the kits would serve a child from primary one to two, while the second kit would serve from primary three to four, and the third kit would serve from five to six.
He further stressed that in each of these kits also have the teachersâ€™ kits, which equally have their own lessons. He explained that all of them work together.
Agwu remarked that China was able to grow her STEM skills through investment in foundational programme such as this. He therefore, noted the Federal Ministry of Education and stakeholders play a key role in advancing the course of this project especially through support.
In his remarks, the Chairman, HME Technology, United Kingdom, Martyn Hale, said after studying the Nigeria market, they decided to launch a product which could be easily accepted at primary levels, and teach children to learn how use their hands in creating things.
He also stated that they understand that in creating, they can add science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which he said is innovative.
According to him, design technology is not being taught in primary schools in Nigeria, adding that in the UK, it is part of the school curriculum.
He stressed that it is very important to bring back technology subjects in schools in the nation.
Hale explained that initiatives such as this would equip peopleâ€™s skills set in order to contribute to the manufacturing environment, whether at a technician or graduate grade, it is all about engineering.
He expressed confidence that this would work in the country because the focus would be at ages five-10 in primary school, â€œI think if we get children involved and they like building things, such as structure it will be great.â€