The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has highlighted the importance of science and technology related courses in redefining students' creativity and innovation for national development.
The Governor who spoke during the celebration of the World Science Day for Peace and Development in Lagos, organised by the Lagos State Government, urged students in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions to embrace science and technology courses that would help them in critical thinking towards creativity and innovation in addressing individual and community challenges.
The Governor who was represented by the Commissioner of Science and Technology, Mr. Hakeem Popoola Fahm, said: "Science is the bedrock of technology and we must promote science and technology skills in schools in order to create critical thinking and innovative skills among students who must rise up to the challenges of the state and the nation, by using technology to address issues and solve challenges."
He added that science and technology remained burning issues in the global economy and are gaining the attention of the non-scientific communities, since they have the potential to significantly increase collaboration and discovery, with the potential to enhance technological advancement of a nation.
"Our goal to achieve technological advancement can only be realised if we encourage the study of science subject in our schools.
"Through our science curriculum, we will equip every child with the skills and knowledge they will need in their next stage of education whilst also supporting them to see how much science has changed our world and also understand how connected it is to their future," Sanwo-Olu said.
He reiterated that the World Science Day for Peace and Development highlighted the important role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues.
According to him, the annual celebration was introduced by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in schools, designed to address societal challenges, while creating support for learning of sciences and technology courses in schools.
The Commissioner of Education, Mrs. Folasade Omobola Adefisayo, while speaking on the theme of this year's celebration: 'Open Science, Leaving No One Behind', said the state was determined to develop students with science and technology skills without leaving anyone behind.
She advised students to think science, think technology, and develop skills in science and technology, irrespective of their disciplines, in order to solve societal challenges. "Students must be critical thinkers and must be determined to innovate through science and technology for national development," Adefisayo said.
The Chairman House Committee on Science and Technology, Hon. Olanrewaju Afinni, said World Science Day aimed at encouraging young scientists to get involved in the field of science.
The guest lecturer and head of Computer Science Department, Lagos State University, Dr. Olutoyin Enikuomehin, in his paper on 'Artificial Intelligence- The benefit, The Fears,' said Artificial Intelligence had become a part of the modern society and has ushered in new standard in terms of the skill-set that is required of Nigerian professionals in science, technology and engineering fields.
He added that Artificial Intelligence (AI), remained a revolutionary feat of computer science, set to become a core component of all modern software over the coming years and decades.
In his goodwill message, the Head of Service Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, urged stakeholders to continue to maintain the objectives of World Science for Peace and Development by strengthening public awareness on the role of science for peaceful and sustainable society.
Highlight of the celebration was the presentation of awards to the best science and technology students in each of the 57 Local Government Areas of Lagos State.