In hopes of preparing all students regardless of socioeconomic status for the modern workforce through digital inclusion and literacy, Intel Corporation in collaboration with Genius Illumina is calling on State government to institutionalize science and technology fairs that will further enhance technological advancement of the Nation.
Speaking at this year’s National Festival of School Science, Corporate Affairs Manager, Babatunde Akinola said “Intel believes that young people are the key to solving global challenges. A solid math and science foundation coupled with skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving are crucial for their success. That is why we promote education programs, ambitious policies, and technology access to enable tomorrow’s innovators”.
Akinola explained further, “Intel has invested over $1 billion, and its employees have volunteered over 3 million hours to improve education around the world over the last decade. In Nigeria, we firmly believe that maintaining the country’s competitiveness in today’s global economy will in large part depend on the success of our nation’s students. Intel’s education programs span across basic technology and science skills and reach students in all 50 states”
Akinola bemoaned that students’ interest in education is waning, saying any nation that would have a breakthrough economically would have to place premium on Science and Technology right from secondary school.
“This Catch-Them-Young Programme remains the best way to redirect the country to the path of Science and Technology called STEM. If a nation wants to be competitive in the global economy, then it has to focus essentially on this sector, because it is the pivot of any economy” He added
He said: “With this programme, we tend to give relevance to these kids and creating a veritable platform for them to realize their potentials.
The organizer of the fair, Executive Director, Genius, Dr. Jerry Orhue experiencing his deep concerns about academic situation said “it is regrettably to note that many of the young and promising Nigerians were dropping out of schools for lack of requisite information, but I am of the opinion that poor funding of education has become a global phenomenon that needed to be tackled, particularly in a developing nation like Nigeria.
Dr Irhue posited that it is impossible for the government to adequately fund education in a vastly populated nation like Nigeria, saying the Corporate organizations would have to complement the efforts at putting Science and Technology in the fore-front for the country to hit its vision 20: 2020.
Of particular reference, Dr Irhue called on other private organizations operating in Nigeria to take a cue from Intel Corporation that took interest in the promotion of Science and Technology for Nigeria to get better advanced in this sector.
The Deputy Governor, Dr. Kolapo Olubunmi, who was present at the award presentation, said “the State has continued to place premium priority on education to revive the old glory, when Ekiti was favourably leading in education in Nigeria.
He said the State Government had established three specialized Science Government Schools in Emure, Ayede and Iyin Ekiti, saying the schools are adequately funded by the government to promote Science and Technology.
Doregos Private Academy, Lagos emerged as the first and second winner while Government College School Kastina emerged as the third winner of the 2015 fair. Winners went home with Laptops, 50 different science/technology books, medals, plaques and all-expense paid to attend Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (INTEL-ISEF) in the United.
Apart from Intel’s focus on education, Science competitions are at the heart of Intel’s education programs. By sponsoring the competitions, it is possible to help identify and celebrate talented young scientists, while inspiring younger students to follow in their footsteps and communities/governments to invest in high-quality science education.