The Lagos government has reiterated its commitment to foster national development from within and outside the state through the empowerment of students with evolving technology skills. The state government is of the view that empowering of students with modern technology skills like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Robotics that are driven by big data, will expose the students to critical thinking in a manner that will make them innovative to develop technology solutions that will address immediate and future challenges.
To achieve the feat, the state government selected and camped 300 students from different public schools, for the 2019 Science Camp, with the theme: “Empowering Students Through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The students were camped for five days for mentorship in evolving technologies, designed to expose them in developing problem-solving skills that will address societal needs.
Declaring the camp open, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Commissioner, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr. Hakeem Fahm, said: “Technology is presently ruling the world and only those who can effectively use science and technology have limitless opportunities. In spite of the daily reduction in employment opportunities globally, technology remains one of the highest sources of paid employment and technological savvy individuals are still sought-after across the world, hence our desire to invest in the annual Science Camp to train students on digital skills.”
“I have it on record that this programme which is an annual event involving students selected through a competitive test across the state has recorded tremendous success in bringing students from various schools together for both social and academic interactions. This administration from inception recognises the importance of science technology and had since incorporated it as part of its policy thrust, Sanwo-Olu said.
According to him, “This administration will continue to support science, and create enabling environment through policies and initiatives. The creative thinking capacity of our youths can be expressed and productively harnessed through encouragement, capacity building and maximisation of potentials such as being provided at the 2019 Science Camp.
“Our goal to achieve technological advancement can only be realised if we encourage the study of science subject in our schools. The major objectives of this camp include developing a solid knowledge base among students and enhancing their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; strengthening their ability to integrate and apply knowledge and skills; nurturing their creativity, collaboration and problem solving skills,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The commissioner, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr. Segun Adeniji, said the Science Camp Initiative became necessary to develop students to become lifelong learners of STEM, enabling them to meet the challenges in the 21st century.
“The camp will nurture versatile talents with different levels of knowledge and skills and enhance their national and international competitiveness, and in so doing contribute to national developments,” Fahm said.
Chairman, Lagos State House Committee on Science and Technology, Hon. Olanrewaju Afinni, advised the selected science students to make the best use of the opportunity, being offered them by the state.
“As future scientists, you must observe, understand the challenges of the environment, and come up with key solutions, supported by technology, to address the challenges,” Afinni said.