By Precious Ukeje
The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria says it has recorded a great level of achievement over the past 37 years of its existence. This was asserted by the Chairman, Awka Chapter of the association, Engineer Oluchi MaryJane Okoli.
The chairman made this remark Monday, March 9, at the Mechanical Engineering, Chisco Institute PTE Auditorium, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, during their 2020 celebration of the International Women’s Day.
In an address of welcome delivered by Engr. Okoli, she said they had advanced professional knowledge of members through facilitation of continued professional development, organizing industrial visits to technical industries, and initiating career-counseling sessions for female students in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
She added that they had increased the awareness and encouragement of girls to study Engineering in tertiary institutions.
‘APWEN has always acknowledged employees of female engineers. We have given scholarships to outstanding female Engineering students and young female science students.
‘For the past two years now, we have awarded a minimum of eighty-one primary school pupils scholarships from primary to tertiary educational level in the six geopolitical zones of the country through the “APWEN INVENT IT, BUILD IT scholarship programme”,’ Okoli explained.
She said that the year’s celebration which had the theme, ‘I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Right”, marked another milestone in the lives of women Engineers in Anambra State.
Okoli added that APWEN provided a forum for promoting sorority amongst women and girls in sciences in order to encourage STEM education amongst female Anambrarians and also to create a platform by which women Engineers could collaborate with other women in other professions.
In a further expose on some of their activities, the chairman said they had also launched a programme called SHEENGINEER in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering, United Kingdom; a programme, which, she said, targeted at equipping a minimum of 200 STEM teachers across the 34 APWEN chapters all over the federation with the requisite skills necessary to train a minimum of 500 pupils in STEM education.
Noting that the association was a non-profit, non-governmental, educational, and service-oriented organization and a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Okoli, who said they depended on the benevolence of well-meaning Nigerians to achieve their goals, called on the public for their moral and financial support to join hands in achieving their vision and mission so as to move to greater heights.
The event featured a debate competition among female students of secondary schools on the motion, “Science and technology have contributed more to nation building, global economic growth and life in general than arts and humanities”.