May 23, 2024

FedPoly rector urges govt, cultural bodies to encourage girl child to study sciences


Rector, Federal Polytechnic Oko, Dr Francisca Nwafulugo, has urged all tiers of governments, religious and cultural bodies to encourage girl child to study sciences for Nigeria’s advancement.

Nwafulugo, a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) said this on Thursday in Ikorodu, Lagos at the second Felicia Agubata Science Competition and Scholarship for Girls in Public Schools (FASCOS).

While delivering a keynote, she enumerated factors militating against girl child education and measures to be adopted including legislation towards properly harnessing the potentials of girls in achieving rapid national growth.

The rector, who is a chemical engineer, read out statistics on the negative consequences of keeping the girl child away from sciences while listing educated women making Nigeria proud locally and globally.

She said: “These call for a collaborative effort by the government, religious bodies and traditional institutions to put measures in place that will eliminate these barriers to girl child education.

“Having said that I wish to call on government at all tiers to promote and substantially fund science education in order to position the nation on the path of technological advancement.”

The rector, however, commended Mrs Felicia Agubata for her interest in the development of the girl child whom she described as a “great asset that should never be jeopardised.”

According to her, science drives global discoveries and inventions and Nigeria needs to build an inclusive capacity for both boys and girls to compete together in a healthy environment that is not gendered discriminatory.

The President of APWEN, Dr Elizabeth Eterigho corroborated the keynote speaker on statistics on discrimination against girls in education which is creating a vacuum that must be urgently addressed.

Eterigho said the FASCOS inaugurated in 2021 was started to create opportunities via a scholarship scheme for the less privileged girls to embrace and study science.

“Science is a powerful tool to shape the world and make it a better, safer, more creative, innovative and exciting place to be. Yet, there are a lot of girls who are out of school because of insufficient funds to pay their school fees,” she said.

The Chairman of APWEN, Lagos State Chapter, Mrs Monsurah Alagbe, said the association formed over 38 years ago had been championing opportunities for the girl child towards career options in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).

Eleven primary schools took part in the quiz competition and cash prizes were given to the best performing pupils among the winners.

Miss Justina Achem, from Anwarul Islamiya Primary School, Elepe, second runner up won N50,000.00 while Amarachi Abebe of Methodist Primary School Elepe won N75,000.00 as the first runner-up.

Meanwhile, Miss Anthonia Nkwogu, from PowerFielf Primary School went home with N100,000.00 and several other gifts haven won the first position for her school.

Nkwogu thanked the organisers and advised other pupils to choose careers in science base courses because the world is going digital.

Felicia Agubata Science Competition and Scholarship for Girls in Public Schools, (FASCOS) is an annual competition based on Arithmetic, Quantitative Reasoning, Basic Science and Civic Education.

It is organised in honour of Dr Felicia Agubata, a former APWEN president for igniting a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in young girls for career opportunities in Nigeria.

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