By Sade Adewale
Seasoned educationists and notable educators have called on the federal, state and local governments in Nigeria to increase the annual funds budgeted for education, saying Nigerian education with 6.7% is the least in Africa.
This position was discussed at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Annual National Conference of the School of Science (ANCOSOS) themed “Investment in Science, Science Education and Technology in the Face of Daunting Economy,” held online.
The e-conference which began online at 9:45 am West African Time on the zoom platform brought various educators in tertiary institutions across Nigeria and Africa to discuss the future of education in Nigeria with a view to finding solution to the problems facing the sector in a constantly changing world.
The keynote address presenter, a professor of Entomology at the Department of Biology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Michael Olufemi Ashamo, stated that the topic is important at a time when the attention given to education by government and stakeholders is dwindling, maintaining that education as an instrument of national development cannot be neglected.
He noted further that no nation can develop beyond her educational level, insisting that Nigeria needs to embrace science and science education for her uplift in the comity of nations.
Convinced of the contributions of science, science education and technology to national development, Ashamo urges all stakeholders – teachers, parents, government, private sector and students – to pay attention to investing money, efforts, and time into science education in order to develop Nigeria technologically, arguing that investment in the teaching of science education is crucial to Nigeria’s economic progress.
He laments that, despite the positive influence of science education and technology on national development, the educational sector in Nigeria has been in comatose. “We have infrastructural decay, brain drain by teachers and lecturers, dilapidated structures, inadequate and obsolete facilities for teaching, learning and research, deficit in teacher quality and quantity, poor remuneration, corruption, not honouring agreements by government, bad policy among others.”
The scientist maintained that the future of any country depends on the quality of education that is available to the citizens, especially science and technology, urging government to invest more in education.
Speaking on the novelty of the e-conference necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provost, Dr. Samuel Akintunde, praised the School of Science for their enthusiasm and determination in organizing the online conference, which is the first of its kind in the College community, as he declared open the 2020 annual event.
He expantiated that the theme of the conference is apt to the current global realities.