Friday, 10 October 2014

Re-introducing the Seminar Series: Foundations for Future Great Scientists, in FCT Junior Secondary Schools

 The economic viability of a nation is pivoted on her science-based activities, and a country without a strong science culture and education will remain a consumer nation and parasite to developed nations. Science is the pillar of economies and democracies of nations! More so, demand on scientific research is now very high as it is the key to solving society’s critical problems related to food, health, energy and so on. And a country without a greater percentage of her populace actively engaged in science will find it difficult in meeting all these challenges. In the face of these global demands, what becomes of our nation? Can we still make science-based decisions in future when many of our students no longer do well or show interest in sciences?


It is now crystal-clear that the number of young people pursuing careers in sciences in our present-day society has dropped precipitously. The few that have braved it up in majoring in sciences have also found their participation hobbled by a defective background.

A number of factors conspire in reducing the number of young people pursuing careers in sciences. The few numbers of industries in the country has played a leading role. The few number and low productivity of research institutions in Nigeria have also but made matters worse. The earning prospects in fields that are not science-related have again reinforced the inclination of parents and students towards other careers. This has also been escalated by the fact that students hardly find very successful and renowned scientists in Nigeria whom they can have as role models. (Although many Nigerians have excelled in their disciplines in science, but many students in primary, secondary and even in tertiary institutions, do not know them.)

Studies have shown that loss of interest in sciences by students begin in primary school and accelerates through their secondary school years. In fact, by the time the student finish junior secondary school, or gets to his terminal class in senior secondary school, it is already too late for any remedy.

Pursuing careers in sciences, just as in every field, requires preparation – one which is not only monetary, but of the mind. The mind of a would-be scientist is a most significant factor in the training of a good scientist, and a poorly prepared mind will find no footing in it. There is no point going into science without knowing what is expected of, and what should characterize, scientists. This, to a large part, is why many students and even some trained scientists are not doing well in their fields of sciences.

Responding to the above calls for going back to the basics! The seminar, Foundations for Future Great Scientists, is therefore a promising tool that will, to an extent, salvage this ugly situation. It is to be presented in all the junior secondary schools in the FCT Universal Basic Education Board, Abuja. The aims and objectives follow:

Ø Stimulating young peoples’ interest in sciences
Ø Increasing the number of would-be or aspiring scientists in secondary and tertiary institutions
Ø Exposing the mind of students on why becoming a scientist or choosing a career in science should be a most promising option
Ø Enhancing students performance and productivity in science
Ø Etching in the mind of the students attitudes that will make them great, as scientists in future or in whatever pursuit they may choose
Ø Motivating and challenging students towards contributing their quota in similar ways other young people have contributed to the development of our global community
Ø Birthing visions that will drive young people to their future great innovations and discoveries.

This seminar series is justified by the following:

Ø Apathy in science by young persons in junior and senior secondary schools
Ø Reduced number of young people pursuing careers in sciences in tertiary institutions
Ø Poor performance and productivity of students in sciences
Ø Students and parents erroneous view that careers in sciences (other than medicine and engineering) are not financially rewarding
Ø Less motivation and inspiration in young persons aspiring to major in science.

This seminar series is basically an effort towards salvaging the above situations, and it will begin January 2015. It is also not to last for more than two hours. The presentation itself is going to be power-point with illustrations, photographs and other aids that will drive home our points. It is also school by school and we hope to visit all the junior secondary schools in the FCT Universal Basic Education Board. Activities to be conducted will among others include:

Ø Lecture presentation (power-point)
Ø Video clip presentations on the activities of scientists
Ø Questions and answer section
Ø Very light refreshment.

We hereby call on organizations and well-meaning individuals to support in this project. If you may want to support or you would like to know more about the project or you have ideas to contribute, please feel free to contact me on 08064383985 or chigozieubani@yahoo.com

CHIGOZIE UBANI.
Presenter, Foundations for Future Great Scientists
And Chairman, Global Science Development Initiatives