Ifeanyi Okechi, Enugu
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has repeatedly posited that science, technology and innovation were the key to Nigeria’s development.
He would always emphasise that the current efforts at diversifying the nation’s economy were being driven by this all-important sector, while seeking support from all and sundry.
It was clearly based on the foregoing that a non-governmental organisation, Society for Science Empowerment and Awareness (SOSEA), has taken it upon itself to advance science education in the country, beginning from Enugu and Ebonyi states.
The move by the NGO to further deepen science study in secondary schools is seen as timely intervention geared towards addressing what has been observed as a steady decline in students’ interest in science subjects in Nigeria.
At a recent quiz competition held at Government Secondary School, Enugu, students’ knowledge in core science subjects like Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Biology was tested. Participants were drawn from schools in the two states.
According to the founder and general coordinator of the group, Mr. Emmanuel Njoku, the aim of the competition was to entrench the discipline necessary in students for a successful study of science subjects, using a reward method. He further said that the group awards scholarships to intelligent students desirous of excelling in the sciences.
Njoku said the group, which was founded in 2003 and eventually registered in 2015, has been organising such competitions once every two years without sponsorship. He, therefore, called on South-East governors, political office holders and public-spirited individuals to help make the zone a hub where the potential for Nigeria’s technological advancement could be sourced.
Aware of the increasing wave of drug abuse and its implications on young people, drug education was clearly highlighted at the event.
Principal staff officer, Drug Demand Reduction Department, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Enugu State, Eyeuche Ajai, took time to lecture the young people there on how to stay away from the dangerous scourge.
The NDLEA officer advised students to focus more on their dreams because drug abuse ruins and would lead them to peril.
“Why are you taking drugs, if you have a dream? Some of the people who take these drugs think of the highness, which the drugs give, but they don’t know that it depreciates their lives,” he said.
The anti-drug officer also decried the attitude of some school authorities who seemed indifferent to efforts of the agency at bringing drug sensitisation to their schools, even though it was free of charge. He appealed to schools to make out time for such education because of the high level of drug abuse in the country.
The students expressed happiness and thanked SOSEA for the initiative, and promised to take the study of science seriously in order to contribute to national development. They also pledged to steer clear of drugs while thoroughly pursuing academic excellence.
At the end of the competition, Nike Grammar School, Enugu, came tops with 10 points, Uwani Secondary School, Enugu, came second with nine points, while Day Secondary School, Enugu, took the third position with eight points.
It was an unending celebration for the staff and students of National Grammar School, Nike, once their school was declared winner of the inter-school quiz competition.
The quiz, which held at Government Secondary School, Enugu, with the theme “Building Bridges 2,” had participants from 21 schools, 17 from Enugu and four from Ebonyi.
One highlight of the event was that a philanthropist, Emmanuel Onwuegbu, who had before then empowered about 12 students at tertiary and secondary levels, promised to provide transport fare for Somto Enih, an intelligent that walked a long distance to school, to enable him concentrate and be punctual in school.