. To promote STEM education in Nigeria
Worried about the poor standard of education and as part of its bid to commitment in improving the standard of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the country, Chevron Nigeria Limited and other co -investors have invested over NGN8.4 billion on the Agbami Medical and Engineering Scholarship (AMEPS), and have spent N 2.5billion on education infrastructure support since inception.
The co-ventures in the Agbami field- Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited (A Chevron Company); Famfa Oil Limited; Statoil Nigeria Limited; Petroleo Brasileiro Nigeria Limited; and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which began investing in education in 2008 is also determined to provide an opportunity for Nigerian youths to pursue careers in STEM to succeed in the new information-based and technology-driven global society.
Speaking at the Agbami, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Symposium 2017 in Lagos Business School, Richard Kennedy, Director, Deeper Water Assets and Production Sharing Contracts, Chevron Nigeria/ Mid- Africa Business Unit stated that the Agbami parties believes that the most rewarding investment is the investment in people, because the greatest asset of a nation are its people. The people are the underlying philosophy behind the social investment in thematic development.
‘We believe in the principle of adding value and enriching lives in any society, we operate’ he said.Kennedy said Nigeria Youths need to develop their capabilities in STEM be able to succeed in this information-based society.According to him ,‘’Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are key subjects to study now because of the need for Nigeria to evolve the science and technological innovations needed to face the challenges of globalization and building an evolving knowledge- based economy.
‘’Most importantly, STEM education is directly linked to global competitiveness and future economic prosperity.‘’ Since inception, the scheme has recorded an impressive total of 456 first class graduates, and over 16,000 students from all States in Nigeria have benefited from the Agbami Medical and Engineering Scholarship.
‘also We have built, furnished and equipped 33 science laboratories and eight hybrid libraries across the country, which in addition to the benefits of students, empowered 38 local community contractors during their construction “he notedIn his own remarks, the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs,( PGPA) Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Esimaje Brikinn, said the establishment of the Agbami Scholarship Scheme is to bridge the gap in STEM education in the country.He also said that Chevron, Partners with Lagos Business School in strengthening the Engineering, Science, Technology and Mathematics education and in organizing scholarship program as a way of solving challenges and promoting STEM education.
He advised corporate organization to get involved by investing in STEM education in other to build future leaders, and further commend the effort of Pan Atlantic University on the just concluded advanced Writing and Reporting Skills (AWARES) for improving the capacity of over 80 media professionals through the AWARES programme.Mrs. Abolaji Osime the CEO, at Global International College and Secondary school stated that the number of student graduating from Accounting, law, Economics in Nigeria is more than the Jobs currently available in Labor market. She said Nigeria do not need graduate from the Art sectors but rather the science sector, stressing that parent should stop forcing their children to study courses of their will, but allow them to study courses of their choice.She further advice schools to set up counseling scheme where teaches can counsel parent regarding the important and benefit of STEM education.
Dr Dolapo Ogunbawo, (Founder, the Teaching Network Foundation), highlighted the need to equip the academic sector in the country. According to her, teachers are the gate keepers and watch dogs of our future generation and government should ensure that this teacher are well informed trained and not sidelined.Delivering a keynote address on “Integrating STEM and 21st Century Skills-Innovative Approaches to STEM Education, the executive director, Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, STAN, Mr Ben Akpan said that the country should invest in STEM to enable Nigeria move from monopolistic economy to knowledge-based economy that is driving the world.
According to Akpan , there is need to apply STEM and other contents that are appropriate to answer complex questions and can investigate global issues, develop solutions for challenges and real world problems.“STEM provides us with the opportunity to develop our economy, democracy and even cultural lives. Scientists believed that STEM is the way to go. Its mandate is to ensure that everybody has basic literacy in science and preparing people for future careers in related professions. The educational curriculum in Nigeria doesn’t test our intelligence. Computers are being made in form of human brains. We are getting to a stage where artificial intelligence is beating human imagination.
He regretted that the world is moving very fast but the Nigerian educational system are not tailored to meet global standard. Therefore, he urged on the need to review our curriculum and invest in science infrastructure, which is very critical in our society,” he said.
For a better society