How to grow Science, Technology, Innovation in Nigeria
The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) on Saturday said that channelling funds towards education and manpower development would aid Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) growth in the country.
The President of NAS, Prof. Mosto Onuoha, made this assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to him, there is the need for Nigeria to begin implementation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recommendation of 26 per cent of national budget to education.
“Presently, Nigeria has only allocated 7.04 per cent to education, and this falls short of UNESCO’s recommendation.
“If the country is not devoting enough finance to education and manpower, it will not help the country to achieve much with STI.
“We need to also have resources allocated to research and ensure that the teaching profession is taken seriously so that the country can compete favourably with other countries,’’ he said.
Onuoha urged the Federal Government to look into the state of public schools in the country, as their environment, facilities, and remuneration for teachers which do not come as and when due, needed to be given attention.
He also called for proper and continuous training of teachers so that they would be abreast of what obtains in the educational system.
“The incident that happened in Kaduna State where the government tested the teachers and found them lacking in skills and expertise is not a good experience.
“Owing teachers backlog of salaries also does not augur well due to the fact that it can bring down the morale and zeal to teach,’’ he said.
The NAS president said that the benefits of pushing STI forward could help the country in solving problems, as there was no problem that did not have a science base to solving them.
He said that STI was required in many fields, like in health, where it could help people to be conscious of personal hygiene which would help reduce the constant outbreak of diseases.
“The issue of Lassa fever that was reported to have killed hundreds of people; if people observed good hygiene, it would have reduced the impact.
“We need to teach our people, raise the awareness for a clean environment for people from primary to secondary schools.