The United States of America had explained the need for Nigeria to shift from a theoretical knowledge-based education to a practical-oriented education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics if the country shall progress.
The Public Affairs Officer of the US Consulate General, Stephen Ibelli, gave the advice during the closing and mid-year report of the US government-sponsored Back To Science Initiative implemented by the DNA Learning Centre, Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu.
Ibelli said that the US government, through its Consulate Office in Lagos, had been training over 600 Nigerian students annually in various disciplines in the US with a view that when they acquired necessary knowledge, they would come back to engineer the development of the country.
“Today, we are in Enugu to celebrate a real milestone in a US policy of promoting science, technology, education and mathematics throughout Southern Nigeria. We funded organisation called DNA Laboratory, located in the United States – the Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory in New York partnering with the Godfrey Okoye University to bring practical training, practical science, technology, engineering and maths training to Enugu, through DNA Barcode, through the study of DNA not only the theoretical knowledge but real practical knowledge” he says.
They were over a 160 secondary school students that benefited from the training. They used hands-on training, doing, collecting and also analysing DNA Barcode. In addition to that, we also trained 40 teachers that will also be able to train future class in DNA technology in human genome, metagenomics, bioformatics in biology as well.”
He stated that the training was to urge a spike of interest in science. “This is really trying to ignite interest in the next generation, the future leaders of Nigeria, the future scientists of Nigeria to be interested in science; in DNA research which has so many practical applications,” he added.
The Director, DNA Learning Centre Nigeria, Prof. George Use, said that BATOSCIN was the beginning of a new thing in Nigeria.