Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
A world-class Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) centre, described as the first of its kind, has emerged in the federal capital territory to boost technical education and artificial intelligence.
Known as Skill G Innovation Centre for STEM Education, the centre is meant for the advancement of technical education, science and mathematics in Nigerian schools.
While unveiling the multi-billion naira education centre to the media, its Managing Director, Prof. Gregory Ibe explained that it is “a turnkey project company that incubates and imparts the idea of technical education.”
He said the basic aim for establishing the centre was “to support all educational institutions in Nigeria involved with our programmes to deepen their knowledge of design, manufacturing, assemblage and training of technical backstopping of all equipment in the institutions.”
While disclosing that the company is open to all others with interest in STEM education, Ibe said “the tradition of ensuring that skill- based education returns to the centre stage and that practical education dominates the essence of our education system is what over the years has culminated in what you witness here today.”
Explaining that “Skill G Innovation Centre is a private sector led establishment for STEM and artificial intelligence, the first of its kind in Nigeria,” Ibe said,”it is meant for the advancement of technical education, science and mathematics in the Nigerian schools.
“The official commissioning of the facility will still be handled very soon by the minister for education on a date that will be announced to you,” he told journalists who were taken to the centre on assessment.
Explaining further, he said: “Time was when the government of Nigeria between the 1960s and 1970s placed very high premium on technical and practical education. Time also was when the tradition was totally abandoned even when the need for it heightened and our education system dropped into a state of poor hope for productivity, impact and relevance to the society.
“After that trend when technical colleges were commonplace, we had a disheartening harvest of paper qualified educated persons who never had the opportunity of skilled training. We had that lapse at a time when the rest of the world upped their emphasis on skill-based education.
“It was at such point in the education history of this great country that Skill G came to the rescue of filling a gap that needed not exist.”
According to him,”for about 29 years, the company has championed the sustenance and revival of the glimmer of light in technical education and skill based curriculum.”