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Henkel commits to fostering science talents with launch of Forscherwelt

Henkel launched its global educational initiative Forscherwelt, in Nigeria – making this a first for the African continent.

The launch, which was held at The People’s Primary School in Ibadan, further reiterates the company’s commitment to skills development in Nigeria, especially in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

The Oyo State government commendedHenkel on this African first, and welcomed the steps it was taking to assist in the development of future science talents in the state and the country as a whole.

Forscherwelt or “Researchers’ World” is an educational initiative designed by Henkel to introduce elementary school children to the fascinating world of science through specific learning objectives, further encouraging them to explore the world of science and make research fun.

NureniAdeniran, chairman of the Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), said that the launch of Forscherwelt demonstrates Henkel’s commitment towards empowering young talents and supporting them to flourish in the communities in which it operates.

Adeniran, represented by Saheed Aliu, deputy director – school services, SUBEB, pledged the support of the state government towards the success of the Forscherwelt programme and he looks forward to it being taken to other schools in the state.

Representative of the Oyo State Ministry of Youth and Sport, Alade Bello, the director, administration and supply, said that with the bold step taken by Henkel, the positive effect will show itself in the overall development of the state in years to come.

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He calls for a partnership between Henkel and the ministry so as to come up with more laudable programmes to empower more students

Rajat Kapur, managing director of Henkel Nigeria, said that the initiative reflects the focal points of Henkel’s research areas and will drive its involvement in community relations.

He said that the company envisions empowering young talents and giving them the support to flourish in their various communities.

This, he said, was the reason why the launch was held at the People’s Primary School, as it is situated in the surrounding community where its Ibadan plant is based.

He said since the inauguration at Henkel’s Düsseldorf headquarters in April 2011, more than 62,000 children around the world have taken part in Henkel’s Forscherwelt programmes and he looks forward to school children from Nigeria benefiting from the initiative.

According to Ute Krupp, the global coordinator, the programme is designed for children between the ages of eight to ten and takes a holistic approach towards teaching and learning by putting children into the role and workplace of an actual researcher.

“The programme is Henkel’s way of contributing to scientific literacy, and it includes teaching units for elementary schools in different settings with teaching materials and training courses developed by educational specialists,” Krupp said.

She said the classes in Forscherwelt are on research areas that Henkel is active in, such as gluing, washing, personal care, and sustainability.

The latter involves teaching children how to save energy, recycle paper, use renewable raw materials, and information about general health and there is flexibility in terms of actual experiments as country-relevant experiments are focused on.

Damilola Asaleye, the coordinator of Girls and Women Technological Empowerment Organisation (GWTEO), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), said that it is a privilege to partner with Henkel on this initiative and to be able to develop children through this programme.

GWTEO is focused on empowering girls and women to be bold, confident, and knowledgeable technology leaders, and they believe that if children are exposed to STEM activities from an early age.

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