In a bid to produce a generation of young minds interested and skilled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, Siemens Energy in partnership with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has commenced a training program for selected teachers and facilitators in Bayelsa state.
The training initiative, which is under Siemens’ experiment program is an international program offered by the German company and Empowering African’s initiatives with the primary objectives of providing teachers and educators a practical and curriculum-oriented selection of topics in Energy, Health, and Environment.
According to Siemens, the key long-term benefits of this initiative include the development and growth of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians needed for economic transformation, especially in the development, industrialization, and diversification of the Nigerian economy.
“Improving education and vocational training structures are crucial for creating individual prospects and economic growth with sustainable productivity. The training is part of Siemens’s strategy towards building human development capacity in Nigeria,” Oladayo Orolu, head of business development and government relations at Siemens Energy said.
He noted that Siemens wants to stimulate the minds of young Nigerian kids towards innovative skills in STEM training.
“We want to expose Nigerian kids to develop a keen interest in STEM education not just to learn employable skills but also to enable them develop, innovate and create their own designs which can compete with some of the best in the global world,” Orolu told Journalists in Bayelsa state.
He added, “we have already trained about 600 primary school teachers in Lagos state which would translate to thousands of pupils benefiting from this type of training. We are planning to replicate the same thing and do even more in Bayelsa State and other Niger-delta states in the coming months”.
“We want Nigeria to become a hub of talents of human capital for the world,” Orolu said.
The program is aimed at providing instructional materials to young people which will allow them to think independently, creatively solve scientific problems and solutions while also creating a cooperative learning environment that will make STEM education easier and interactive.
The training which shall be largely practical and hands-on intensive is designed for two weeks and structured in two tranches.
In the first week, Siemens Stiftung and Empowering Africans through Education Initiatives will train 15 facilitators/ multipliers.
In the second week, the facilitators /multipliers will in turn train the 30 teachers nominated by the Bayelsa State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) from 10 primary schools selected from the state.
After the training, certificates will be awarded to the facilitators/multipliers and the trained teachers.
Also, 12 Experiment 8 + Kits will be deployed (one to each of the schools and two to the facilitators/multipliers) for further training of teachers.
To ensure the desired impact and value is achieved, the Siemens experiment team will conduct evaluations, including the effects of the training model on the student’s performance and retention abilities.
Simbi Wabote, executive secretary of NCDMB who was represented by Ama Ikuru, general manager, capacity building division of the Board said the initiative is in line with the unflinching commitment to attain the objectives and aspirations of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act of 2010 and its 10-year strategic road map.
“We are particularly delighted that this initiative is targeted at primary school teachers and we thank Siemens Stiftung, Siemens Nigeria, and Empowering Africans through Education Initiatives for the commencement of this pilot phase for the training,” Ikuru said.
Okechukwu Nwabuzor, Siemens Energy said the essence of the training is to fill up the knowledge gap in Nigeria’s educational system.
“The concept is about exposing kids to a lab in a box; The box has over 120 different experiments that explore the kids’ minds to hunger for more knowledge and create an impact in the society they live in,” Nwabuzor said.