The Lagos State Government and GetBundi Education Technology Company on Thursday commissioned a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) laboratory at Wesley Girls Senior Secondary School, Yaba, Lagos.
The STEM laboratory is the pilot phase of an ongoing partnership between the Lagos State Government and GetBundi that would see the deployment of GetBundi’s education technology platform across schools in the state.
Speaking at the commissioning of the centre on Thursday, Adetola Salau, special assistant on education to the executive governor of Lagos State, harped on the importance of STEM education, saying it helps to prepare students for the workforce and equips them with the skills needed to excel in a rapidly-changing, technology-driven
She said the Getbundi offering is in tandem with the STEAMUP Lagos project which she oversees, whose goal is to infuse the ideals of a globally unified STEAM curriculum, making learning fun, accessible, sustainable, relatable to learners while inculcating in them critical thinking ability, problem identification and solving skills, collaboration and creativity in designing solutions to identified challenges in society.
By virtue of the partnership, she said, GetBundi is helping to “provide students with real-world experience and help them to develop the skills that are in demand in the job market with the donation of a STEAM lab equipped with the latest equipment and software”.
“They supported our district here – Educational District IV, specifically Wesley Girls Secondary School – through this generous support which aligns with our goals that ultimately focus on the provision of quality education for all of the state’s children. This encourages educational innovation that aims to improve learning outcomes,” Salau said.
“We are also glad that this lab will be at a girls’ secondary school because we are driven about inspiring girls to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) courses and careers – by providing access to STEM resources directly at their school which would lead to the setting up of clubs and activities that would support their learning more about STEM and its relevance to their lives,” she said.
Osita Oparaugo, founder/CEO of GetBundi, explained that the STEM laboratory that has been set up at Wesley Girls Senior Secondary School was a pilot programme to enable the Lagos State government to assess the platform and get feedback from students and teachers so that the government and GetBundi can then formulate the right framework to deploy the technology across government schools in Lagos.
He said GetBundi, a government-approved online educational technology platform, has the goal to use technology to make high-quality and engaging STEM subjects for secondary school and Digital Skills courses for everyone accessible all across Africa.
“Less than 18 per cent of Africans, Nigerians inclusive, who enter the universities pursue science-related fields due to lack of appreciation of STEM caused by the inability of African countries to invest in science education mostly at the secondary school level,” Oparaugo said.
“For instance, by 2030 there will be nearly 250 million job gaps in the digital space as our world is constantly changing through technology. African youths must be equipped with the right skill sets if they want to be productive and competitive,” he said.
He said the existing gaps were the reason for setting up GetBundi with the goal of massifying STEM and Digital Skill courses across Africa and a target to upskill 10 million African workforce by 2030 under the GetBundi Vision 2033.
According to him, GetBundi currently offers online vocational training on 16 digital skills courses six of which have courses in pidgin English developed by industry experts in Africa and around the world and hopes to add 14 more courses during its next content development scheduled for the second quarter of 2024.
Juliet Ijeh, course coordinator, GetBundi Education Technology and GetBundi Education Foundation, thanked the Lagos State Government for appreciating the importance of STEM education and the partnership with GetBundi.
“To build an Africa beyond aid, the continent must refocus learning towards science and technology especially for post primary students and youths. I wish other states in Nigeria will emulate what Lagos is doing and embrace STEM learning,” she said.
The Lagos State Government had earlier given approval to GetBundi to set up the STEAM lab at Wesley Girls Secondary School. The approval came via a letter dated 22 February 2023 and addressed to GetBundi Education Technology Limited.