(L-R): Enameguono Aroesiri, Adarerhi Efere, representatives of Delta State and winners of the Primary School category; Mr. Paul Arinze, General Manager, Public and Government Affairs, Mobil Producing Nigeria; Adolalom Obinna and Omoniwu Benjamin, representatives of Imo State and winners of the Secondary School category at the NNPC/MPN/STAN National Science Quiz Competition finals in Asaba, Delta State
Delta, Imo and Benue states clinched the first, second and third positions with 111.8, 111 and 98 points respectively in the primary category of the 19th Science Teachers Association of Nigeria’s (STAN’s) National Quiz/Project competition, held in Asaba, Delta state last September.
Imo, Akwa Ibom and Enugu states also came first, second and third in the secondary category with 112, 111 and 110 points respectively.
The duo of Aroesiri Enameguono and Gloria Adarerhi, both from D.S.C Model primary school represented the hosts, Delta, at the finals.
Twelve-year-old Adarerhi attributed her success to God and hardwork. ” I read books on Chemistry and Physics. We are the host and the expectation to win on our home soil was very high,” she said. Her motivation to excel in science, she explained, was informed by her ambition to become a Marine engineer.
Also, 17-year-old Benjamin Onaniwu, who won in the secondary school category and intends to study Mathematical Physics, wants the government to focus attention on creating job opportunities for science students.
” There will be no point going to study a science course when, at the end of the day, you cannot find work in your country,” he said. “There should be opportunities for students who study the sciences to find work in their fields.
General Manager, Public and Government Affairs, Mobil Producing Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arinze who spoke at the closing ceremony and finals of the competition, described the event as two decades of a fruitful relationship with STAN.
According to him, Mobil as a science and technology based company believes that the future of Nigeria lies in the development of science and technology education.
He also announced that the 2014 edition of the competition would be last to be sponsored by Mobil. He noted that through the platform of STAN, MPN and its joint venture partner, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had sponsored the competition for the last 19 years, which had also led to the achievement of the company’s objective of fostering cooperation among science teachers and raising the standard of science education in Nigeria.
For Nigerian to join the league of technologically advanced and economically prosperous nations, he observed, deploying creativity in technology would be essential just as science education must play a crucial role in fulfilling this objective.
He said: “Concerted efforts and policy should be put in place to not only ensure that pupils are introduced to science subjects early, but a greater encouragement system should also be instituted to identify and reward pupils showing exceptional abilities in science subjects.”
On the state of science education in the country, the Chairman of the association’s Quiz Bureau, Peter Okebukola, who is a professor of science education maintained that it has not been impressive.
Giving further assessment, he explained that some indicators had shown that significant progress was not being made in the sector. ” Look at public exams, our students are not doing well as we would have expected them to do. Even at the University level, the type of students we are getting even from the secondary education is not impressive.”
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