Advancing Inclusive, Equitable STEM education in Nigeria

Oyinlola Abosede

In a bid to showcase Africa as a cradle of civilisation and industrialisation, where talent and creativity thrive, Champions Educational Foundation (CEF) is democratising and building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong and quality learning outcomes for all in Africa.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education is crucial for investment in human capital, yielding tremendous benefits for sustainable national growth and achieving the Africa of our dreams. Indeed, the future of innovation and technology ecosystem in Africa is bright with this initiative.

The Agenda 2063 is Africa’s master plan and blueprint for transforming the continent into the global powerhouse of the future. Similarly, it is the continent’s strategic framework that aims to fulfil its mandate for promoting well educated citizens and enhancing the quality of life for freedom, progress and collective prosperity towards achieving the African Renaissance.

Champions Educational Foundation (CEF) believes that substantive investment in inclusive and equitable quality education would improve literacy and development through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocacy for the wellbeing of all citizens among people in Africa.

The NGO affirms that STEM education is the bedrock of social and economic development and it is pivotal for promoting health and nutrition, peace and security, strengthening employment generation, raising the standard of living and increasing income opportunities thereby bringing lasting change in our communities.

In addition, the foundation has been working effectively and efficiently in safeguarding a golden future for African youths by revitalising relevant and harmonized STEM education systems responsive to the needs of Africans and deploying value-based systems that produce Africans with appropriate skills, knowledge and abilities (SKAs). Consequently, this would facilitate the attainment of the African Union (AU) vision for the Africa We Want, especially for the benefit of individuals, families, communities and the nation.

Furthermore, the NGO strive to attain a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development through a gender-responsive education sector planning with gender equality as a central goal. Moreover, through quality education, CFE disseminates knowledge and the culture of science in the African society by leveraging knowledge, competencies, innovation and the cutting-edge technology required to nurture African core values and promote national development.

Today, the foundation is setting the pace in the country by strengthening social responsibility, promoting active citizenry amongst African youths, expanding access to equal educational opportunities to young people in Africa and creating a linkage between STEM education and the new world of work for all in the continent.

In an interview, the executives of the foundation claim that “STEM education prepares a highly productive workforce of future inventors and entrepreneurs, for devising innovative solutions through hands-on-projects and workshop training for inclusive and equitable quality education in Nigeria.”

Muhammad Saheed, who is one of the Board of Trustees (BoT) also said that the prospects of STEM education revolve around integrating a practical approach that fosters problem solving, critical thinking, analytical abilities, collaboration, logical reasoning, team work, initiative, digital literacy and effective communication in our everyday life for a better Africa.

Explaining further, he disclosed that inclusive and equitable quality education bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application. He also added that through a holistic approach, such would help African youths to translate foundational concepts and explore its significance in engineering and technology for communities, organizations and industries.

According to the NGO leader, the foundation has several arms for promoting quality education in the achievement of the African Union, Agenda 2063, the Africa We Want for socio-economic growth and sustainable national development in the nation.

CEF Tech and Research Academy (CEFTRA)

This is set up to expose African youths to information technology and articulating their research skills at the grassroots level across rural and urban communities in the country. In addition, the academy focuses on maximising engineering principles through hybrid boot camps, workshops and other training session for performing tasks in basic software and mobile app development.

At one of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) educational summits held by the foundation at the Western Reservoir Road, Olorunsogo, in Kwara State in the first quarter of this year, the foundation created massive opportunities for youth empowerment on digital technology, robotics and artificial intelligence (RAIN), coding skills and computer programming, especially for talented indigent Africans.

According to one of the beneficiaries from the youth empowerment – Iyiola David “the impact of this initiative would enhance productivity, foster gender equality in promoting quality education and unlocking the potential of human capital through competence-based training and effective learning outcomes.” he affirmed.

In addition, “this would fully harness the power of technology to drive civic change and enhance citizen-led transformative action for community development in Africa.” Iyiola stated.

CEF Advocacy

The CEF advocacy activities strive to engage international institutions and regional stakeholders in the Africa diaspora on the wide prospects of transforming inclusive and equitable quality education through good governance and capacity building. Moreover, the NGO believes that this would serve as the voice of the people for community development, industrialisation and improving productivity for a healthy society.

Character Building and Social-Reform Program (CSP)

Explaining the vision of the foundation for Character-building and Social-reform further, through this initiative, he said “the NGO has facilitated several outstanding projects on the tremendous opportunities that quality education offers for technological advancements in Africa.” Such would ensure for patriotism and nation building in the country.

CEF Book Club

The essence of the book club at the Champions Educational Foundation is to inspire African youths, to cultivate the habit of reading in them and improve their understanding of history, transformational leadership and African culture for patriotism and nation building. Moreover, this would open new possibilities, breed more informed citizens, broaden their horizons, enhance cognitive skills and foster a growth mindset.

Consequently, this would deliver new perspectives on STEM education, create community engagement, encourage social interactions and promote collaborative exploration of literature and the world around us.

Champions Educational Foundation seeks to actively build a community of energetic and positive individuals for African youths towards effecting change in quality education. In addition, this would instil unity, enhance purposeful living and mobilize collective action towards promoting shared goals.

The NGO stressed further that it is open to partnering with other individuals and stakeholders towards promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, in Africa.

Indeed, the integration of STEM education would create an interdisciplinary approach that removes traditional barriers to quality learning separating the four disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for a knowledge-driven society. More fundamentally, this would deepen conceptual understanding of quality education and leverage on the infinite wealth from the limitless creativity of the teeming population for improving the quality of life and enhancing great socio-economic benefits in Africa.

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