Mr. Michael Akan, the Chief Executive Officer of Blueapple, a techpreneur firm has called for science education curriculum review and increased government commitment to revolutionising technology.
Akan told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that such steps would accelerate development.
According to him, science school curriculum has become obsolete as it did not capture modern technological trends, advancements and innovations, thereby inhibiting Nigeria’s global competitiveness.
He called for involvement of the private sector in taking the country to the desired height in using robotics and artificial intelligence to drive innovations.
“Government has a huge responsibility to ensure that the curriculum is reviewed to meet present realities.
“We need more commitment in science education; our curriculum often times does not reflect today’s realities; very few schools are working on robotics and artificial intelligence.
“Our science labs are under-equipped, where they exist; sometimes, they don’t even have the labs due to a gap in manpower.
“This shortfall needs to be addressed by not only government; private concerns should come in,” Akan said.
He said that his firm had identified some gaps and was working to bridge them.
He called for the support of the private sector, individuals and alumni associations in building science labs for schools.
Akan said that the firm was organising a National Engineering Science and Tech Essay Competition aimed a bridging gaps in science and technology education in Nigeria.
According to him, the maiden edition of the annual prize award ceremony would take place on Nov. 14 in Lagos.
He told NAN that 13 finalists had already emerged out of 150 contestants, adding that the finalists would defend their proposals.
Akan said that the best three finalist would receive prizes and have their projects funded by the firm and its partners.
He said that the competition designed for students of higher institutions of learning would arouse the students’ interest in advanced science and technology to help the country to harness global science and technology opportunities.
Akan, a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), said that technical knowledge, originality of topics, and solutions proffered to societal problems were some criteria used in selecting the finalists.
The engineer also called for increased funding for research development.
“Our research institutions are moribund, underfunded; so, you discover that even where we have talents, we don’t have manpower, and when our people travel out to where there is infrastructure, they tend to excel.
“There are lots of funding going on out there, Nigeria is not tapping into it, we need to do more,” he said.
Akan, however, praised the nation for technological innovation funding, noting that Nigeria ranked among the top three in Africa.
He called on the NSE to continue to drive local content in technological innovations by enforcing codes and charting new courses for development.