For throwing their weights behind the redirection of the objectives of educational development from knowledge based to empowerment, the management of Intel Corporation, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Interswitch and other stakeholders in the Annual National Science and Engineering Fair have been commended by the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson.
The minister gave the commendation at the 2013 edition of the fair, held at the University of Lagos. She pointed out that the decision of the firms to bankroll the programme would further boost the study of Science and Technology in the country.
Activities to mark the four-day event included Science Quiz and exhibition showcase. The exhibition stage saw the competing schools pass their innovative inventions through several stages under the keen watch of panel of judges. The fair was jointly sponsored by Intel Corporation, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Interswitch.
While applauding the participating students, the minister, who was represented at the occasion by the Director-General of the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST), Lawrence Okoro, stated that it was expedient that students at that level develop interests in practical sciences and engineering solutions to challenges in their environment and the nation as a whole.
Head, Social Performance, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Emmanuel Anyim, in his remark said the partnership with Intel and Interswitch was part of Shell's commitment to national development and actively positioning the Nigerian educational sector on a global pedestal.
He said: "Science is key to the development of any country and we feel that the best way to begin is to encourage young talents by exposing them to global standards. And we are happy that the young scientists are rising to the challenge already."
Also speaking at the occasion, the Corporate Affairs Manager, Intel Corporation, Mr. Osagie Ogunbor, explained that Intel, in partnership with Shell and Interswitch was pursuing a transformational agenda in the educational sector to encourage a more practical approach to learning that would prod the students to becoming pragmatic researchers rather than passive receivers of knowledge.
"The changing trends in the global economy are increasingly becoming knowledge-based being driven by advancements in Information and Communication Technology and this has significantly raised the stakes in the educational sector, thus we want to encourage a practical approach that will excite these young minds and spur their appreciation and effective contribution at the student-teacher level and, ultimately add to their wealth of knowledge in their respective disciplines," he said.
As if rising to the challenge thrown at them by the minister, students of Doregos Private Academy, Ipaja, Lagos, emerged winners of the exhibition contest with their invented Urine-powered generator, while Peter Secondary School, Umuahia, emerged winners in the quiz category.
Representatives of both schools went home with various prizes which included Laptop PCs, Scholarship awards and cash. It was further stated at the event that the two schools will further represent Nigeria at the International leg of the fair.