Uche Usim, Abuja and Adewale Sanyaolu
To deepen its corporate social responsibility programme, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has donated a modular science laboratory to Model Government Secondary School, Twon Brass and an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Centre to Government Secondary School Okpoama, both in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The ICT centre, according to a statement from the Board, was commissioned recently by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, and has two air conditioned rooms, each fully equipped with 31 computers linked to the internet, projector and printer. The centre also has an administrative office, instructor’s office, conference hall and a stand-by generator to power the facility. The science laboratory, commissioned by the Member Representing Nembe/Brass Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives,Israel Sunny Goli has separate laboratories for Physics, Chemistry and Biology and supported with solar power.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, explained that capacity building is one of NCDMB’s key objectives and the agency had decided to promote such efforts from the primary school level up to the university level. So far, NCDMB had donated 25 ICT centres to secondary schools across the country and built the capacity of teachers in some states, including Kastina and Bayelsa States, as part of its capacity building and corporate social responsibility programmes.
According to him, “We believe in enhancing the quality of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. It is sad that in some secondary schools, particularly in remote locations, students are taught these subjects without any practical experience.
“Our strategy going forward is to encourage STEM education as well as ICT in secondary schools across the country. These days every entrance examination is done online and we if don’t start inculcating those knowledge in secondary students, most of them will fall behind in meeting up with the ICT age.”
On strategies for maintaining the centres, Wabote explained that NCDMB had instituted a sustainability programme, which includes a one year management arrangement and training of staff and locals to operate the centres.
He gave assurance that NCDMB would run periodic assessments of the facilities and develop new strategies to sustain them. “We have a strategic objective and a plan to follow through on most of these centres we have established for sustainability. For us, it is an end to end thinking in most of these activities we are doing”.