An educationist, Mrs Taofeek Sule, said on Saturday in Abuja that Nigerian youths would need adequate technological orientation to become innovators and job creators in the country’s increasingly diversified economy.
She said that attention should now be focused on the study of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to help students aspire towards building their careers in different sectors.
According to Sule, students should be given the right capacity building to be problem solvers in a competitive world.
She stressed the need for relevant stakeholders in the different fields of science to sensitise male and female students to the actual benefits inherent in taking up careers in STEM.
“Sensitisation of students could come in form of continuous capacity development on STEM activities through various programmes, strategies and partnerships.
“Adopting STEM careers by our youths is not just for themselves, but also for the development of the society as a whole because in the world of today, science cuts across all sectors such as healthcare, power, and aviation.
“Therefore, government, private bodies, Non Governmental Organisations, wealthy individuals have a responsibility to upgrade the society we have to what we want, which is obtainable in advanced society,’’ she said.
The educationist added that early exposure of students to STEM would provide them the opportunity to develop passion for innovation whether in employment or entrepreneurship.
She emphasised the need to develop partnerships to promote STEM in all institutions of learning.
According to her, partnerships are critical to promoting STEM initiatives among young people.
“For STEM to be promoted among communities and institutions, there is a need for partnership between the government, academia and private sector.
“Through this, there is hope to see more STEM-related subjects entrenched in institutions of learning across the country,” she said.
She expressed concern at the low-level enrolment of secondary school students in Africa, who she said ended up graduating from college without STEM skills.
“According to world statistics that I read online, 58% of all new jobs available now are in computing.
“Yet in Africa, the United Nations stated that less than 2% of students, under 18 years, finish school with vital STEM skills.
“This figures are unfavourable, but it shows through strengthened partnerships that work needs to be done to promote the STEM culture in Africa,’’ she said. (NNN)
Edited by Shittu Obassa/Emmanuel Yashim