Government and stakeholders in the education and science sectors have been urged to encourage girls to study science-related courses in schools, and to build a career in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), to boost national development.
Principal Consultant, Lonadek Incorporated and Founder of Vision 2020, Dr Ibilola Amao, said for Nigeria to be prepared to meet future challenges in scientific innovation, youths must be properly mentored and guided in career paths that encourage innovation in science profession and innovation.
Speaking at a one-day workshop on career counselling, industry awareness and youth empowerment in Abuja, Amao said there are fewer girls that are taking courses in the sciences in institutions of learning in Nigeria, which underscores the need for a deliberate encouragement of girls that are interested in pursuing career paths in science-related courses.
She said: “As woman and an engineer, I see a lack of ladies in the sciences, and I know that women are good problem-solvers. We equally face similar problems that men are also facing. So, educating the girl child in the sciences can only position Nigeria better in meeting present and future challenges in the sector, especially technology development.
“Vision 2020 Youth Empowerment and Restoration Initiative (YERI), is designed to act as a catalyst for collaboration between the government and private sector for positive transformation. We aim to work with the brightest youth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the areas of engineering, power, manufacturing, oil and gas and agro allied industries among others.”Career public speaker, Olusoji Oyawoye, advise young people to seek out good role models for greater career attainment, and to imbibe a culture of effective time management.
Presenting a report on the objectives of Vision 2020, Programmes Coordinator of Vision 2020, Ifunnaya Dibiaezue, said the programme has so far empowered 92,317 young Nigerians in taking STEM career paths, by organising workshops, summer camps, facility on site visits, competitions, and many other programmes for senior secondary school students in the sciences, and also first and second year undergraduates.She explained that the workshop is the 29th among others the organisation has organised so far.The programme, which started in 2006, is expected to wind down next year (2020), before a new phase would be embarked upon.