By Sunny A. Ijomah
When the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, established the World Science Day for Peace and Development on 10th of November, 2001, the global body noted that the aim was to highlight the important role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public on debates on emerging and important contemporary issues relevant to science.
Consequently, to hook up with these emerging global scientific expositions and to ensure that Anambra State maintains her great strides in science education by getting exposed to modern scientific dynamics, the state’s Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, joined up to celebrate 2019 World Science Day in Awka.
The United Nations asserts that people are still witnessing great disparities across and within different regions and different countries when it comes to accessing science, technology and innovation (STI) and enjoying their benefits.
To throw more light on the central message of the annual event, UNESCO says that the World Science Day underlines the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives and offers the opportunity to mobilize all actors around the topic of Science for Peace and Development, from government officials to the media and to school pupils.
At the venue of the event in Anambra State, therefore, participants who included stakeholders in science education and science students from different tertiary and secondary schools and technical colleges in Anambra State remained optimistic as they explored issues like scientific awareness and what must be done to promote scientific interests and development especially in Anambra State.
The Anambra State Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Professor Theresa Obiekezie, who was represented at the occasion by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Pauline Nwandu, said the theme of this year’s event, “Science For The People And People For Science,” was chosen to campaign for inclusive science that opens the eyes of all persons to its endless opportunities and breakthroughs.
On his part, the Chairman of the occasion and Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Honourable Uchenna Okafor, who was represented by the Registrar of Anambra State Polytechnic, Mgbakwu, Barrister Samuel Nnana, said that science remains the backbone of any society which should be harnessed for greater good.
The keynote speakers, Dr. Ikechukwu Umeh, who is an ICT expert, and Dr Onyeyili Tochukwu, a senior lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, in their separate lectures, said the advancement in scientific development, despite its obvious negative effects, has evolved technology and made it the mainstream of global survival and human’s evenness.
The participants including the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Igbariam Campus of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Professor Ellis Idemobi, also made important contributions and asked questions in relation to the topics taught by the keynote speakers, one of which was the low budgetary allocation to science education and technology in Nigeria.
Reputable science and technical schools were also given mobile science laboratories, donated to Anambra State by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Abuja, to aid the study of science in junior and senior secondary schools in Anambra State.