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STEM School: Nigerian varsity set to teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics in Igbo language



Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, pioneering STEM school in Nigeria

A group, Odinala Cultural Heritage Foundation, otherwise known as OCHIE Igbo, has disclosed plans to docmicile STEM School in Igbo language.

OCHIE Igbo National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Caleb Ekene Onwe, disclosed this while speaking to the Diaspora Digital Media (DDM) on Monday, February 12.

To achieve the feat, OCHIE Igbo is partnering with a Nigerian varsity, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, in Anambra State, to use mother tongue in teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in schools.

What is STEM school?

A STEM school is an educational institution that focuses on teaching STEM courses, such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

STEM school aims to prepare students for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future by developing their critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovation skills.

It can be found at different levels, from elementary to high school, and may offer various programs, activities, and opportunities for students who are interested in STEM fields.

How will the STEM school work?

Mr. Onwe disclosed that UNIZIK Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charles Okechukwu Esimone, has already given his tacit approval to the project and has assigned a March 15, 2024, date to unveil the project.

Vice-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Professor Charles Okechukwu Esimone

Vice-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Professor Charles Okechukwu Esimone

Speaking on the feat and the efficiency of the project, Onwe said: “Over the years, educationists, researchers and curriculum development experts have argued that children perform better when taught in their mother tongue.

“The efficacy of the above claim lies with the inroads and quantum of converts which the missionaries made in Igboland on their arrival.

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“They harnessed the depth the Igbo Language, applied it in the explanation of the Christain theology, mysteries of Church, Article of Faith and in the authorship of the Catechism of the Chistian Doctrine.

“This aided the rapid spread of the Gospel and they recorded immense success.

“The above framework speaks volume of what we can achieve in the future.

“The proposed OCHIE Igbo STEM School (Igbo Silicone Valley) will be sited at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

“It will take off on a virtual note targeting to enroll Igbo kids from all parts of the world.

“Therefore, if we must unlock the potentials of the next generation, we must task our time, finances and intellect in developing a curriculum which will aid our children to discern phenomena, interpret algebra and the universe in Igbo Language.

“That way alone, we can be assured that our people can put man on the Moon in our lifetime.”

Onwe further disclosed that OCHIE Igbo has signed an MoU with Nnamdi Azikiwe University on the development of a STEM School.

Following the signing of the MoU, the University, in collaboration with OCHIE Igbo, created committees to help achieve the STEM School objectives:

1. The Coordination Committee is led by Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu (Deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of Administration at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka), with Okoro Chinedum Benedict as the Committee’s Co Chairman.

2. The Curriculum Development Committee is led by Prof. Lilian Akudolu of the Faculty of Education, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

3. Igbo Translation Committee is led by Prof. Thecla Udemmadu of the Department of Igbo, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

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Objectives of the school

OCHIE Igbo said that the objective of STEM school is to raise a generation of Igbo children that can innovate, conceive, invent and interpret phenomena in Igbo language.

“This way, the educational barriers and challenges associated with the learning sciences in our primary and secondary schools would be a thing of the past,” the group said.

This may be a new awakening for the people of the Southeast.

Vice Chancellor Esimone and the entire University community have expressed readiness to inaugurate the Committees with Mr. Okoro as the pioneer Executive Director for the STEM School.

The Planning Committee will be headed by Chief Ugochukwu Okeke and Prof. Ujam Oguejiofor as Secretary.

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