as ACEITSE takes off
By Adesina Wahab & Elizabeth Uwandu
VICE-Chancellor, Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo, Lagos, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, SAN, has said the African continent is grappling with development because the base of innovation is weak.
He stated this on Tuesday during the official take off of the African Centre of Excellence for Innovative and Transformative STEM Education, ACEITSE, in the institution.
Fagbohun also noted that the weak innovation base led to the poor economic strength of many countries on the continent.
“It is when you have economic strength that you can canvass political rights. And to have economic strength, you must make use of innovation and technology and science helps us get innovation, we must, therefore, employ science to become innovative.
“It is in that regard that we must take the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, STEM, serious and do that innovatively too. So, this centre is the answer to our prayer to get means to innovatively teach our people STEM education and who would also go on to teach others and it is not a project that can be messed up,” he said.
Fagbohun also stressed that since the centre would draw students from within and outside the country, those to teach the students must find amicable means of resolving knotty issues, saying industrial action must not be allowed to lead to its collapse.
The VC expressed optimism that after the initial funding for four years by the World Bank, the centre would have carved a niche for itself to continue to be funded by the school and other well-meaning bodies.
The Director of the Centre, Prof. Peter Okebukola, said it was one of the few African Centres of Excellence in the country and that it would run courses at graduate and undergraduate levels.
He added that experts from across the globe would teach students STEM Education and Entrepreneurship, ICT Education with specialisation in Artificial Intelligence and Cyber security among others.
Okebukola said the mission of the centre included promoting excellence in the teaching and learning of STEM Education through culturally-relevant, innovative and transformative models for addressing regional developmental challenges.
He said taking STEM education seriously would lead to the country and the continent as a whole soon producing world beaters in science and technology among others.
Goodwill messages were sent by the Secretary General of the Association of African Universities, AAU, Prof. Etienne Ehile, the Nigeria’s Coordinator of the World Bank ACE Projects, Dr Joshua Atah and former Head of Tertiary Education at the World Bank, Prof. Jamil Salmi.