By Bukola Hameed
The Provost, Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo, Dr. Rasak A. Adefabi, fien, fcai, JP has advocated the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to replace the old Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to hasten national developments. This remark was made at the recently held 7th National Conference with a theme- REPOSITIONING SCIENCE AND SCIENCE EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA organized by the School of Secondary Education (Science Programmes), Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo.
Declaring the conference open, the College Chief Executive, according to a release made available by the Special Assistant to the Provost on Media Matters, Wale Adeoye stated, “The theme of the conference is not only apt but timely. Nigeria is riddled with a lot of problems ranging from insecurity, poverty, hunger, poor health service delivery, low quality education, poor economic growth, and unavailability of clean portable water, erratic power supply, climate change, gender inequality and a host of others. As contained in the sixteen- spoke-wheel representation enlisting the sub-themes of the conference, the conference provides an avenue for us to brainstorm and proffer solutions to many of our national problems in an intellectual manner.”
Speaking further on the theme, the Iseyin-born administrator asserted that “At the Rio 20 Summit in 2012, a new set of global goals was defined to take effect on the expiry of the previous UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (Leggett & Carter, 2019). In September 2015, 193 Member States of the United Nations approved the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the 2030 Agenda. The SDGs are a set of global objectives common to all countries: developed and developing, poor and rich. This implies involvement of nations and local authorities, the public sector and individual citizens, multinational companies, and family businesses. The SDG framework promotes economic development, social inclusion, and environmental protection in all nations of the world, in an atmosphere of peace and justice, strong institutions, and international collaboration (Casini, Bastianoni, Gagliardi, Gigliotti, Riccaboni & Betti, 2019).”
“As captured in the Nigeria Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Indicators Baseline Report 2016, Nigeria began to implement the SDGs in 2015 as an immediate successor and inheritor of the activities previously carried out under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In effect, the SDGs is an ambitious and transformational Agenda meant to deliver a 17-set of goals to better the lots of every one by 2030. As laudable as the SDGs are, there is the need to assess the scorecard of Nigeria as a nation in the extent of implementation of even the expiring MDGs before we key into the new set of goals as contained in the SDGs agenda. As we domesticate the SDGs, it is imperative to set machinery in motion towards achieving the goals. The inclusiveness of the SDGs is targeted at promoting qualitative life for all within the stipulated time frame. With all sincerity of purpose, we should alleviate poverty, guaranty food security, provide clean portable water for drinking, provide qualitative education, provide job opportunity for teeming unemployed youths, limit gender disparity, promote peaceful coexistence and implement action plans to safe the climate and make the planet earth safe for all to live in,” he submitted.
While welcoming the Keynote Paper Presenter, Professor Sunday Olawale Okeniyi back to his root and congratulating him as the new Vice Chancellor of Atiba University, Oyo, Dr. Adefabi thanked him most sincerely for the readiness to accept to give the keynote address at this programme. “I pray God grants you a peaceful and successful tenure of Office”, he prayed.
Likewise, I thank Professor M. K. Akinsola from the Department of Science & Technical Education, Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan, the Premier University, being the Lead Paper Presenter who undoubtedly is another big catch.
In his welcome address, the Dean, School of Secondary Education (Science Programmes), Dr. Philip Iyiola Farayiola lauded the spirited efforts of the Dr. Rasak Adefabi-led-Management towards the completion of the Ultra-Modern Laboratory Complex of the School. “It is no gainsaying, that our dear Provost has a special bias in favour of science education and its development”, he stated.
Speaking further, the Ogbomoso-born Mathematician stated, “In the history of the School, the bifocal nature of this year’s conference adorns it with an element of coronary and uniqueness. Aside from the intellectual discourse and engagement, that usually characterizes conferences, as an integral part of this programme, we shall launch a Book of Readings compiled in honour of eminent personalities who retired from the School in appreciation of their meritorious services to the School and the College at large.”
While saluting the tenacity of the Research and Publications Committee of the School Chaired by Dr. (Mrs) Omolara O. Adeboye, in mustering enough energy and resources to organize this memorable programme, he mentioned the names of former scholars who have retired as Deans from the service of the College for appreciation- Mr J. A. Adeshiyan, Mr O. A. Akintobi, Dr M. O. Ojo, Mr M. A. Opasina, Mr A. O. Oyewole, Mr O. T. Agboola, Mr O. O. Fabiyi, Mr O. Mapaderun, Dr B. O. Abayomi, Mr Temilade Adeniyi, Mr I. A. Akanbi, and Mr M. E. Adeleye. We also remembered the deceased – Dr E. O. Oloyede (deceased), Mr T. A. Adelakun(deceased), Mr A. I. Lawal(deceased), and Mr G. O. Opatola(deceased). May the souls of the departed continue to rest in peace, he prayed. He later appreciated all donors for their contributions towards bringing the programme into fruition.
Highlights of the programme include the launching of a book of reading in honour of all former Deans of the School while the Chairman of the event and Chairman, ACE Supermarket, Nigeria, Mr. Yinka Afonja aside from launching the book of reading a scholarship award of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (250,000.00 Naira) each, for five (5) students – Two (2) brilliant students and Three (3) indigent students in the School of Secondary Education (Science Programmes).
The 3-day National Conference ended with a communique which among other things called for allocation of enough funds for science and science education across all cadres of education; Science teacher preparation should be strengthened; for the purpose of achieving sustainable development, there are needs for learning under a conducive environment. As such, the dilapidated infrastructural facilities in schools and colleges must be improved; a serene environment will motivate student to learn while Science Teachers who are to disseminate knowledge must be properly motivated to give and put in their best. As such the need for salary increment and better working conditions.
The government at all levels should provide functional computer laboratory in schools right from primary to secondary and tertiary institutions. This will facilitate the instilling of the use of CAI in schools, raising the perception of both the students and the instructional facilitators thus enhancing, enabling, enriching and empowering science educational targets of sustainable development goals in Nigeria while educational curriculum planners should incorporate practical technological training course in their curriculum design for pre-service teachers to enhance better perception of CAI modes towards achieving the science educational targets of sustainable development goals in schools among others.
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