October 12, 2007
Development lies in science education — Don
From ALI MUHAMMAD RABIU, Ilorin
The Vice-Chancellor of Al-Hikmal University, Ilorin, Professor Musbau Akanji has said that technological development of the country lies in offering of a sound science and technological education at primary and secondary school levels.
He stated this while delievering a lecture entitled: “Repositioning Nigeria’s Technological Development Through Science and Technology” at the Third National Conference of the School of Applied Science and Technology of Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara state.
According to him, the two levels form the bedrock from which the country can emerge as a technically advanced nation.
He said it required the exposition of the pupils to a sound science and technological education at that level and encouraging them to proceed on it at the tertiary institution.
Akanji averred that money being spent at polytechnics and universities on science and technology would amount to waste if there are no students of the discipline coming from primary and secondary schools.
“You can not plant maize and expect to harvest yam. You can not plant history and expect to harvest chemistry.” he said
The professor of Bio-chemistry advised that more science teachers should be deployed to secondary schools and be appropriately remunerated to encourage them to stay on the job instead of going to where their knowledge may not be useful.
He said government, while encouraging science and technological education at the pre tertiary level should adequately fund science and technological based tertiary institutions to enable them to focus on the goal they are set up to achieve.
“Instead of government funding its institutions adequately, the institutions are asked to generate a substantial percentage of their recurrent expenditure. They end up admitting students in Humanities and Management Sciences instead of those interested in Science and Technological courses. This is because the latter groups are not available from the secondary school products,” he added.
Akanji advised government to actualize the parity in employment and earnings of university and polytechnic graduates, saying this is another way forward on technical development in the country.
He cautioned against the proposed cancellation of polytechnic education and advised the government to allow the matter to be opened for thorough analysis and debate to enable correct decision to bed taken before implementation.
In his speech chairman of the occasion, Prof. S.L. Folami warned that the scrapping of polytechnic education may lead to destruction of technological education in the country.
He admonished government to improve on its funding of science and technological education in order for the country to advance technologically.