By Funmilayo Adeyemi
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says with the evolvement of technology, there is the need to equip Nigerians with the requisite knowledge and skills to drive innovations to solve challenges.
Osinbajo made this known in Abuja on Saturday, at the 2021/2022 First Lego League (FLL) Championship in Robotics with the theme: “Cargo Connect’’.
The championship which has students drawn from the six geo-political zones held in collaboration with the Coderina Education Technology and Foundation.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Education Intervention, Mr Fela Bank-Olemoh, said Nigeria needed to prepare its students for the future.
Bank-Olemoh noted that the competition aimed at equipping children between the ages of nine years and 16 years with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) skills using robotics.
“This event is indeed very important as it reminds us that the future of our dear country, Nigeria, is in safe and capable hands.
“Seeing 600 students from the six geopolitical zones gathered and exploring the unlimited potential of robotics as it applies to STEAM gives me hope that we are raising a generation ready to take technological innovations to higher level.
“As technology rapidly evolves, it is imperative and critical that we equip Nigerians with knowledge and skills to enable them to drive innovations that will provide solutions to challenges,’’ he said.
Bank-Olemoh said that Nigeria and Africa had been left behind in STEAM-driven society but that government understood the need to close the gap in technological innovations and ultimately become one of the STEAM hubs in the world.
He added that the use of robotics as tool to teaching STEAM was a great approach to education because it struck a certain level of curiosity in students, makes learning easier and a good catalyst for the pursuit of knowledge.
“Our population as the largest gathering of Black people and influence as Africa’s largest economy give us an advantage that we must utilise effectively.
“ Nigerians are known to excel everywhere they go; hence we need to create more opportunities and an enabling environment for them to excel.
“Research has shown that the use of robotics in STEAM learning enables the learner to stay focused and motivated,’’ he added.
The aide commended FLL and Coderina Education and Technology Foundation for the initiative and efforts at developing STEAM skills in young Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that selected unity schools across the six geo-political zones and some private schools participated in the competition.
Some of the schools are Federal Government Colleges, Vandeikiya, Kano, Rubochi, Ikom and Orozo.
Others are Federal Government Girls Colleges in Oyo, Abuja, Akure and Queens College, Lagos.
Vivian Fowler School and Hillside Schools were among those that participated from private schools. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)