(From Fortune Abang, NAN)
The Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, Shimon Ben-Shoshan, says Israel-Nigeria cooperation through Innovation Fellowship for Aspiring Inventors and Researchers (i-FAIR), will boost E-Learning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ben-Shoshan made this known in his address at the official inauguration of pilot FCT-Universal Basic Education Board Centre for Science, Technology and Innovative Training Centre, on Tuesday in Gwagwalada, Abuja.
The centre was rehabilitated, equipped and donated by Skill “G”, a private sector-based organization.
He commended the centre initiative to have been born out of the 60 years of mutual diplomatic relations between both countries.
Ben-Shoshan said, “A great example of the cooperation is the recently inaugurated i-FAIR 2020/21.
“Out of thousands of applications from across Nigeria, 75 participants were selected and inducted into a five-month intensive programme.
“This is to help develop their ideas in agriculture and food security, renewable energy/environmental management, food technology, medical devices/simulation and social responsibility.
“We believe that FCT ICT and education are closely linked and essential to building emerging economies.
“This is why the work here to improve teachers access in the field of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and agriculture will field great benefit, not for FCT, but for Nigeria at large.”
Ben-Shoshan explained that the centre would help students who due to the pandemic were away from schools.
Speaking in the same vein at the event, the Minister of State, FCT, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, commended the centre’s initiative aimed at improving quality of Basic Education in FCT in particular and Nigeria in general.
According to her, it will enable the nation to catch up with global trends in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ( STEM) education, starting from the basic level.
Aliyu said, “I most sincerely commend Skill ‘G’ for this laudable initiative and for choosing the FCT as one of the states for the pilot project.
“It is not a surprise, therefore, the FCT-UBEB Science and Technology Resource Centre, which is domiciled at the JSS Hajj Camp Gwagwalada was appropriate for the pilot scheme.
“It is important to stress that the Universal Basic Education Commission and the World Bank have been partnering on strategies to inject new ideas into Basic Education Science, Mathematics and Technology to strengthen functional education in schools.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of FCT-UBEB, Dr. Kabir Matazu, said that Skill ‘G’ had earlier renovated and equipped three science and mathematics laboratories at LEA primary school, Kuje.
Others were Science Primary School, Gwagwalada and LEA primary school Bako in Kuje, Gwagwalada and Kwali area councils respectively.
“The impact of the training and supply of the science equipment has raised FCT above other states in the areas of science and technology competition in Nigeria.
“FCT UBEB schools have won several laurels at the 22nd National JETS competition that took place in Bariga, Lagos state,” he said.
He, however, appealed to well-meaning donor agencies to support and provide for the educational needs of children in basic education.
Meanwhile, Prof. Gregory Ibe, Chief Executive Officer of Skill “G” organisation, expressed appreciation to the Israeli Embassy in Nigeria, for having contributed to the success recorded.
Ibe said, “This centre will promote effective teaching and learning in the FCT.
“Whatever Skill “G” is doing, is to make sure that e-learning education growth is replicated not just in Gwagwalada, but across area councils of the FCT.”