Minister Urges Unity Schools to Participate in Robotics Competition

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Chukwuemeka-Nwajiuba

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, has directed all the 104 Unity Schools in the country to participate in the First Lego League (FLL) national robotics championship competition.

This, he said, would get them prepared for the digital future that is driving global economies.

The minister who spoke through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Sonny Echono, gave the directive, following the release of the result of the 2020 robotics competition.

FLL was brought to Nigeria by Coderina Education and Technology Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation and supported by SAP.

Now in its sixth edition in the country, the 2020 competition themed: “City Shaper” was organised by Coderina in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) and the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) with support from SAP, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Irish Aid and the Baze University in Abuja.

The minister said the decision to allow all Unity Schools participate in the robotics competition, was to strengthen critical and computational thinking among students.

Children aged 9 to 18 years numbering about 1000 and 50 teachers drawn from 60 schools, participated at this year’s national championship, where Metra 101 Team, an all girls team from Federal Government Girls College (FGGC) in Ikot Obio Itong, Akwa Ibom State, emerged overall champion.

Other winners include: Robot Design that came second place; Tech Gears X; FGGC, Bauchi; FGGC, Kabba; Airol Unilag; Bred Hub; Glisten School and Vivian Fowler School.

Metra 101 Team scooped the top position by embodying the program’s Core Values of teamwork and mutual respect while achieving excellence and innovation in both robot game and innovative project.

Pleased with the students’ performances, the Permanent Secretary said: “This marks a significant first step in our work in ensuring the infusion of Coding in our school curricula to strengthen critical and computational thinking as a key skillset that students in Secondary Education must have. This will ensure that we broaden the base by making sure that the opportunities of this preparation are made possible today even though the manifestations of the series of efforts we are making now will come tomorrow.

“Our efforts are in line with Ministerial Strategic Plans, the SDGs 4; which is provision of quality education for all. The world of today and that of the foreseeable future is one where individuals move between digital domains and offline reality with the use of technology to enable and manage life.”
The Director General of NITDA, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, who was represented by the Director of eGovernment Development and Regulation at NITDA, Dr Vincent Olatunji, said NITDA remained saddled with the responsibility of developing and regulating the use of Information Technology in the country, which has contributed immensely to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).