MTN Foundation (MTNF) recently upgraded 22 science laboratories in six states across the six geopolitical zones of the country, under its science and technology laboratory scheme.
The maiden edition of the project was aimed at improving learning and practical teaching of core science subjects such as Chemistry, Physics and Biology, to boost students' academic performance.The project entails renovation of existing laboratory space/rooms in the schools; provision of laboratory furniture; supply and installation of modern science and technology equipment for each of the laboratories, as well as one year of supply of consumables.
Speaking at the inauguration of the project at Vetland Senior Grammar School, Ifako Ijaye, one of the selected public schools in Lagos State, Chairman of the foundation, Hamzat Ahmadu, said science and and technology are the bedrock of modern society, saying that the relationship between science and technology on one hand and economic/industrial development on the other is overwhelming.
Through science and technology, he said countries like China and India have turned their economies around and are now competing effectively with developed countries in many respects.
Represented by the Director of the foundation, Mr. Dennis Okoro, he said: "The application of science and technology has transformed the world and made life easier for us all, through dramatic advances in almost all fields including medicine, engineering, electronics, aeronautics. The giant strides recorded in computer technology have given birth to the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry where disparate technologies and media have converged for the benefit of mankind."
While congratulating the beneficiaries, who emerged from a transparent and thorough selection process, he said, "it is our believe that this science and technology laboratory project and others that the foundation has implemented and is still implementing, will build a solid foundation in this important area for the benefit of our people."
The Executive Director, Ms Nonny Ugboma, who noted that the organisation had in June and July 2011, called for submission of Expressions of Interest (EOI) from state ministries of education for consideration, said a total of 45 submissions were received from various state ministries of education, including the FCT, and carried out a nationwide inspection of 182 nominated schools.
"After the exercise, 22 schools were able to meet the strict criteria we set for qualification," adding that the foundation will also train 24 science teachers and laboratory attendants across all the beneficiary schools as well as supply a 5KVA generator."
While congratulating the beneficiary schools, she enjoined the students to take care of the laboratories so as to achieve their dreams, saying, "You are all our future scientists, you have to show you are responsible by taking proper care of the laboratories. We also hope that teachers we have trained will be able to impact the children."
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola enjoined teachers and students to make the best use of the facilities provided in the laboratories, saying that they are provided for the improvement of teaching and learning of sciences.
Represented by the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, he said, "Our teachers are therefore advised to rededicate themselves to duty and impact sound knowledge in sciences to their students."