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Stop Discouraging Girls from Science, Engineering Courses Group Warns Parents

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Ekenedilichukwu Okolie

The STEM Damsel Network has warned Nigerian parents against the girl child gender stereotypes and cultural practices that could threaten their future careers.

The non-governmental organisation said discouraging the girls from studying courses in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, could have negative impacts in their careers.

It insisted that doing so could adversely affect their careers in the future.

The Founder of the group, Ekenedilichukwu Okolie, gave the warning in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Saturday.

She condemned the socio-cultural challenges facing the girl child, especially in Africa.

She said the STEM Damsel Network had restated the campaign during a One-Day Sensitisation for Girls in Secondary Schools in Abuja it organised to commemorate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.’

Okolie said that the event was aimed at sensitising female students on careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

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She said it was also aimed at encouraging investments in teacher training, inspiring parents to sponsor their girls to study STEM-related courses as well as boosting self-confidence and esteem of the girls.

She added that the event was attended by over 150 students along with teachers, parents and volunteers.

Part of the statement read, “In Nigeria, like other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, there is a wide gender gap in STEM. Gender stereotypes, cultural norms and lack of mentorship are some of the factors that continually dampen the interest of girls in STEM, resulting in low representation of women in STEM careers.

“However, with the 4th Industrial Revolution, the reality of the post-COVID ‘New Normal,’ digitalisation and globalisation; all of these trends have sparked radical shifts in how we live and work.

” The jobs of the future will be driven by technology and innovation; and careers in STEM offers so much more for our girls, especially economic empowerment which will help us towards achieving most of the sustainable development goals.

“Therefore, denying girls the opportunities to study STEM-related courses reduces their chances of securing better jobs in the future, thereby perpetuating poverty amongst women.

“As part of our Sustainability Plan, we unveiled The STEM Damsel Mentorship Clinic which is built on a research-based strategic teaming model to increase the likelihood that participating students will pursue STEM careers as well as expose the young girls to female STEM Mentors and professionals.

“We intend to work in partnership with educators, government agencies and corporate organisations as we continue to sensitise our young girls/parents on career opportunities in STEM through advocacy and teachers training.”

The statement further quoted the Lead Consultant, Market3 Consulting, Enoch Haruna, to have stated that “STEM is the future and not just the future.”

Haruna reportedly said, “The highest paid jobs are STEM-based and are also the highest in demand. Therefore, one of the tactics to end the poverty cycle within communities and the nation at large will be to ensure that our women are equipped to compete in STEM careers as we all agree that with women in STEM, we open up the science space for women at the apex.

A self-esteem advocate, Ejiro Alechenu, was also quoted to have encouraged young girls on the need to be self-aware, observant and conscious mentally, physically, negatively and positively.

“This is very important for the girls even in their STEM journey as it impacts how they see themselves and how they grow to be confident even in a male-dominated space,” he said.

The Founder and Creative Director, Tristetix, Dahlia Akhaine, also spoke on sustainable future, the skills needed to build a sustainable future through STEM-strong leadership skills, coding skills, data management skills, communication skills, relationship building skills and long term thinking skills.

The Proprietress, Seed of Greatness and Excellence Academy, Rev. Mrs. Agboola, reiterated the need for continuous STEM education not only for our girls but also for parents/guardians, communities and the society at large.

This, she said, would help break the stereotypes and cultural norms that have consistently dampened the interest of girls in STEM.

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Education

WAEC releases 2022 WASSCE results

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The West African Examinations Council has released the results of the 2022 West African Senior School Certificate Examination for school candidates.

Speaking on Monday at WAEC office, Yaba, the Head of Nigeria Office, WAEC, Mr Patrick Areghan, said, “The results are being uploaded on the results website. Candidates who sat the examination and who have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Council can access their results on the Council’s results website within the next twelve hours.

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“Copies of the Result Listing will be sent to schools shortly. I need not restate the fact that the results of candidates who are sponsored by states indebted to the Council will not be released now until they pay up. We appeal to them to do so to enable the affected schools/candidates access their results.”

He added that some schools failed to upload their students’ Continuous Assessment Scores Capturing System at the stipulated time and many failed to meet registration deadlines, to the extent that some schools ended up not presenting their students for the examination.

“Yet, some who registered their students off-line failed to upload their entries! This showed unacceptable level of nonchalance. Again, others failed to meet deadlines due to criminal ‘shopping’ for candidates. By the time they realised it, the window had closed,” he said.

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Oyo denies returning schools to original owners

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Oyo State Government has denied a report that it is planning to return some schools to their original owners, whether to missionaries or individuals.

The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Abdulrahman Abiodun Abduraheem, said there was no time the government took such decision.

He said that the only recent event where Governor Seyi Makinde spoke about ownership of schools was at Loyola College during the commissioning of a hall named after the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, where he only advised members of the old students association of the school to direct their request to the Ministry of Education.

“There is clearly no truth to the story making the rounds that the government of Oyo State was about to return schools to their original owners.

“The government does not have the such intention and there was nowhere Governor Seyi Makinde, made that statement.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the governor was confronted about a possible return of Loyola College, Ibadan, to the old students association and he urged the association to direct its request to the Ministry of Education for necessary engagement.

“He did not give any directive on the return of the school or any school, whatsoever.”

It also stated, “It is true that the state has developed a proof of agreement with the Incorporated Trustees of GCIOBA, but that does not in any way amount to a blanket return of all schools to their original owners.

“While the state will not shy away from productive partnership with stakeholders in the education sector to support its policy of free and qualitative education, it will not take any step capable of upsetting the cord of alliance already existing in a highly treasured sector like education.

“Let me use this opportunity to address some interests who appear bent on twisting the submission of the governor on this subject upside down to look for other things to do as it is clear they will not succeed in the inglorious path of attempting to whip up religious sentiments on this issue.”

 

 

 

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FG can’t borrow N1.1trn to end ASUU strike – Keyamo

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Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo

• Education minister to ‘submit a proposal on how to end ASUU strike soon’

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