The Initiative for Information Technology Capacity Building (i4itcb) has called for improved method and practice of teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in schools, especially in the South Eastern part of Nigeria.
The Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), made this emphasis at a one-day Academia and Technology Seminar for STEM lecturers held recently in Enugu State in collaboration with the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and Oracle Academy which demonstrated educational curriculum resources to aid the educators impart their students.
Dele Bayo-Osibo the founder of Initiative for Information Technology Capacity Building said the capacity building seminar had become important to help close the gap between the science and technology industry and academia.
“The Idea is that we will, overtime, close the gap between the industry and the academia. We believe in moving from ‘Knowledge to Impact’. And as such, we want to impart knowledge in the academia because they are critical stakeholders in this move to improve IT technicians, professionals in the polity”, Bayo-Osibo said.
Speaking at the seminar themed: ‘Teaching for industry relevant STEM skills’, Hettie Abimbola Soriyan, Lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, said that STEM teachers need a change in their mindset to be able to win-back students to the classrooms.
She said, “They are working with a generation that does not show as much interest in class room lectures as its was in times gone by, because their interest in technology, especially social media has increased in leaps, almost as a disadvantage. So, lecturers need to leave our comfort zones to train ourselves to use that technology to reach out to the students. Engage the students; give them some things to think about, analyse and present their thoughts.
Soriyan emphasized the need to train students for the digital future by using technology to their advantage.
Also speaking, Iyiola Ayoola, executive secretary of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), said;
“When we refer to the fourth industrial revolution, it implies that IT has penetrated every facet of human endeavor. As a result, we are seeing technological disruptions today.
“So, we are talking about lecturers and teachers of Computer Science courses; they should be able to stay ahead of the class and the result is graduates who are ready to conquer in this technological dispensation. We have many IT courses now in Big Data, Robotics, Mobile Internet, Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Virtual Reality; these are disruptions in the IT industry that should be taught with the relevant tools and revamped curriculum,” Ayoola added.
During her presentation, Sefunmi Fadahunsi, country programs manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, Oracle Academy, reiterated the global IT giant’s determination to impact next generation of professionals through free educational resources around STEM that teachers and schools can leverage to deliver quality teaching and learning experience.
“Students need to be engaged practically to be able to learn STEM so that they can have skills relevant in the industry. All the industry relevant resources Oracle Academy has for them is free. In other words, what the students will learn through Oracle Academy is the same as our customers are subscribing to, to drive their businesses; Java, Database, IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning resources, curriculum and software resources – all free for both the teachers and the students.