The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) have concluded that Nigeria has the capacity to address its energy crisis, achieve sustainable development and other national goals, when it enhances the quality of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curricula specifically for girls in secondary schools across the country.
EnergyDay gathered that the NCDMB and APWEN recently launched the partnership at St. Jude’s Girls Secondary School in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, with the “STEMitout4girls” campaign, with the theme: Interest and Proficiency in STEM.
According to them, Nigeria can only advance economically in the 21st century based on the quality of well-educated young girls.
Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, Executive Secretary, NCDMB, represented by Engr. Mofe Megbele, Deputy Manager, Capacity Building Division, revealed the Board’s readiness to collaborate with APWEN in accomplishing programmes and policies geared to promote capacity development for the female gender.
Wabote quoted Section 70 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, which provides for the Board to conduct workshops and training aimed at advancing the development of Nigerian Content.
He emphasized that “there is no local content without Human Capacity Development and there has been significant growth achieved through the implementation of the 10-year strategic roadmaps for the oil and gas industry to accelerate the attainment of 70 percent Nigerian Content by 2027.
He also stated that the importance of educating girls in the society cannot be overemphasized, noting that the country can only advance based on the quality of well-educated young girls. He added that an educated girl child can confront the issues facing humanities in the 21st century such as peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, food production, and environmental issues.
The NCDMB Executive Secretary further assured that the Board will continue to support, monitor, and evaluate the growth and performances of the female students benefiting from the STEM programme and competition.
He said, “I expect the students to fully apply the knowledge gained from this training to improve their performances in future examinations and competitions”.
“One short way to underpin sustainable development is to entrench quality STEM education in our girls, armed with a quality education, these girls can aspire to be whatever they want to be in the near future”, Waboted added.
Engr. Elizabeth Eterigho, President, APWEN, on her part said that the STEM training initiative is targeted at increasing awareness on engineering as a suitable career for girls, to improve the numerical strength of female engineers in Nigeria, adding that it also provides the girl child with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the rapidly changing world.
She admitted that there are difficulties in accessing quality learning opportunities in STEM subjects, which is why the engineering and science sectors seem to be dominated by the male gender. “Our educational system has allowed gender divides to be perpetuated and to disproportionally affect the most marginalized girls,” she regretted.
She commended the NCDMB for the partnership and presented the “Diversity Champion Award” to the Executive Secretary for his untiring efforts to promote and empower the girl child.