The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) has advocated for the use of STEM educational curricular in schools across the country in order to break the gender stereotypes against the girl child.
According to the President of the association, STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, provides students, particularly the girl child, with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the rapidly changing world where technology plays important role in all industries.
The President of APWEN, Engr. Dr. Elizabeth Jumoke Eterigho FNSE, FNSChE, who made this known during the “STEMitOut4Girls” campaign organized by the Association (APWEN) in partnership with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, said APWEN, a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, is on a mission to increase the awareness that engineering is an absolute career for girls thereby improving the numerical strength of female engineers in Nigeria.
She said “obviously, there are learning crisis, which lead to skills crisis, including difficulty in accessing quality learning opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects which are traditionally credited to and dominated by boys. Our educational system has allowed gender divides to be perpetuated and to disproportionally affect the most marginalized girls.”
“While girls tend to outperform boys in reading skills in most region, they continue to be underrepresented amongst top performers in STEM subjects, which in turn leads to underrepresentation of women on the STEM workforce “
Engr. Tasiu Gidari Sa’ad Wudil, FNSE who was represented by the Bayelsa Chairman of NSE, Engr. James Sokari Karimo and the President of APWEN pointed out that STEM Education, as advocated by APWEN, is the key to unlocking potentials that will provide students with skills they need to succeed.
The STEMitOut4Girls programme with the theme ” Interest and Proficiency in STEM” was a three (3) day event held at Ayalla hotel and St. Jude Girls College, Amarata in Yenagoa, respectively.
The 3-days witnessed “train the trainers”, comprising of collegiate from Niger Delta University,Ammasoma and Federal University, Otuoke in ogbia local government Area.
Also the training ofteachers from seven (7) public schools including those with special needs. The schools are the St.Jude Girls School, Amarata, Government Science and Technical College, Okaka (GSTC), Community Secondary School(CSS), Okutukutu, Community Girls Secondary School, Agudama-Epie (GSS) and the Community Secondary Secondary School, Yenezuegine, Central Epie Secondary School Opolo and Bayelsa State School for Children with special needs.
The President of APWEN, Engr. Dr. Elizabeth Jumoke Eterigo also commended the management of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for the sponsorship of the STEMitOut4Girls project and bestowed upon the Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Wabote the “Diversity Champion Award” for his untiring efforts to promote and empower the girl child.
Speaking in his keynote address, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote represented by the Deputy Manager, Capacity Building Division, Mr. Mofe Megbele expressed the readiness of the NCDMB in partnering with APWEN programmes and policies to promote capacity development of the girl child and women.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa chapter of APWEN on Thursday inaugurated the new Chairman, Engr. Diepreye Owana Omubo. Other members of the executive include; Engr. Amalate Ann Jonathan-Obuebite Ph.D – Vice chairman, Engr. Kilemu Siliefah – General Secretary , Engr. Rebecca Crofton Idubamo – Treasurer, Engr. Rasheedat Abdulkareem – Technical Secretary ,Engr. Mirabel Alazigha- Publicity Secretary, Engr. Ifiemi Ocholi- Tulagha – Ex-officio
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