Kwara Funfest: NGO trains students, advocates investment in steam education

An NGO, WEBFALA Digital Skills For All Initiative (WDSFAI) have called on government at all levels to make more investment in ‘steam’ education in order for Nigeria to compete in digital, knowledge-driven global economy.

The Execuitive Director ,WDSFAI,Mrs Nafisat Bakare made the call in Ilorin at the inaugural Kwara STEAM Funfest held at the Banquet Hall.

Bakare described Kwara STEAM funfest as an important event for students in the state to discover,explore, imagine, engage critically, creatively and confidently in their learning.

She explained that the acronym STEAM came up from Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) which emphasized the integral role of arts and creativity in the learning process.

According to her, It offers students the precious opportunity to experience practical STEAM activities that will motivate them to further their pursuit of knowledge in science and technology.

” The Theme of the event ‘Igniting Children’s Passion in STEAM’ aims to inspire children’s love for STEAM,enlighten teachers, parents about possibilities and opportunities in STEAM.

” It is saddening that Nigeria still ranks among nations with little or no investment in STEAM education. In order for Nigeria to favourably compete in this digital and knowledge-driven global economy, we must prioritse STEAM education and careers.

” We are appealing to government at all levels to make more investments in STEAM education. We must adequately integrate STEAM education into our curriculum,” she said.

She added that STEAM education at schools is important to igniting the children’s interest in pursuing careers in STEAM.

Bakare urged parents to encourage their children to get involved in STEAM activities by enrolling them at summer camps and after school programmes that focus on STEAM education.

She however described TEAM as critical to sustained growth and stability of economies around the world, adding that it is important for school students to have solid knowledge base in STEAM.

” Other 21st century soft skills that students can acquire from STEAM are social,communication, media literacy, critical thinking, problem solving skills, decision making, and entrepreneurial mindset will prepare them to innovative and become active players in the economy,” she said.

Then executive director, however urged students present to embrace the opportunity and show passion in steam opportunity.

The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Inuwa Abdullahi described STEAM as a global necessities and however encouraged the young students to explore STEAM-related programs that will help build on their passion and interest while in school.

Abdullahi who was represented by the Agency’s Director, Standards,Guidelines and Framework, Mr Oladejo Olawunmi urged students tobe curious and have passion for learning.

The Director said Kwara STEAM Funfare has created a great opportunity and avenue for students to develop their capabilities in strong subjects and exposed them to digital literacy skills.

” This opportunity is a lifetime that will enable you create your own future and compete globally in this digital age.

” I will thus encourage you to be an active participant and seize this given opportunity to create a path to your future to guarantee well-deserved life achievements,” he advised.

He added that NITDA is excited to be part of this year’s STEAMFEST and looks forward to more of such educative digital literacy programmes for young Nigerians in the Tech space.

The Head , National Library of Nigeria, Kwara Branch, Mrs Kafayat Olani,in her lecture urged students to be motivated to learnnew skills .

Olani tasked the students to make use of the library via physical or visual to embrace STEAM knowledge.

” You are born in digital era.You can easily adapted. Open your mind and strive to know more,” she advised.

It would be recalled that 27 Schools across the state participated in the Kwara Steam funfest 2022.