Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has said the Federal Government will continue to support the training of teachers, especially in mathematics and sciences related subject.
Wike who spoke in Abuja on Monday, noted that the potential of improving the quality of teachers' education anchored on the nation's ability to encourage the personal and professional development through regular training and retraining.
The minister stated this at the opening ceremony of the 4th In-Service of Teachers (INSET) Management workshop for stakeholders in non-pilot states in the Strengthening Mathematics and Science Education (SMASE) Nigeria held in conjunction with the Embassy of Japan, represented by its Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ryuichi Shoji.
Wike who stressed the imperative of improving the quality of teaching and learning of Mathematics and basic science subjects, which were key to the rapid socio-economic and technological transformation of Nigeria, said the government, through the Federal Ministry of Education had continued to provide effective cooperation and support to the SMASE Nigeria project initiative since 2006.
The minister expressed confidence that the successful construction and equipping of the national INSET centre at the national teachers' Institute (NTI) Kaduna would go a long way to addressing the training needs of primary school mathematics and science teachers in the country through in-service education and training.
The minster expressed appreciation on behalf of the Federal Government, to the Japanese Government for its immeasurable commitment towards improving Nigeria's education at the basic level through the Japanese International Cooperation agency, JICA, which he noted has intervened in providing new schools, classrooms and water boreholes in several states of the federation, as well as trained over 11,500 school teachers, administrators and policy-makers, especially in mathematics and science subjects.
He charged participants to share experiences and innovative practices with a view to chart the way forward to achieving a nation-wide implementation of SMASE projects.
The minister called on states yet to make good use this project to avail themselves of the specialised training service offered by the national INSET centre to improve the quality of trained teachers in mathematics and sciences in their respective states.
The Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Mr. Ryuichi Shoji, in his speech, commended the government for its efforts in ensuring access to quality education to the citizenry.
He also commended the cordial relationship and collaboration between the Ministry and JICA in the implementation of SMASE Nigeria project, noting that success of the project depends on the ownership, strong leadership and political support.
In the goodwill messages delivered, it was unanimously acclaimed that the project has significantly helped in improving the performances of mathematics and Science teachers and ultimately addressing the prevailing challenges of the negative perception and poor academic achievements of pupils and students in these subject areas.
It would be recalled that the federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Japanese International cooperation Agency (JICA) initiated SMASE in 2006 in three pilot states of Kaduna, Niger and Plateau, to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics and sciences in at the primary school level through in-service training.