Sunday, January 20, 2019
National UpdatesTechnology

Don calls for more equipped universities, research institutions to foster science education

Prof. Nasiru Idris, the Head, Department of Geography, Nassarawa State University (NSUK) Keffi, has stressed the need to equip more universities and research institutions to foster science education.

Idris made the call on Friday during a three-day field trip of Postgraduate Students of Environmental Resource Management Department of the university to the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) in Abuja.

He said that the more equipped universities and research institutions were, the more students would be encouraged to study science related courses, which would in turn transcend to developing the science and technology sector.

He said the field trip was necessary as a way of complementing theories with practicals, especially on issues of flooding, desertification, land use and modern space technology.

He said the school signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the agency in 2016 on research, capacity building and development.

Idris said the field trip would enable the students carry out their respective fieldwork and suggest measures to environmental challenges in relations to the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Geography is a study of space and time and we need to know what is happening in our air space as a country.

“The foundation of sciences in the country is very poor, and most students because of that shy away from science courses.

“Science courses are very interesting because you are dealing with nature, predictions, forecasting and all these are innovations we need to know.

“Nigeria has up to 200 million populations with less than 200 universities. There is need for more universities, research centres and the political will to carry on the educational sector to compete globally,” Idris said.

He said that the study of sciences required infrastructure, teachers’ technical knowhow, capacity to carry on the teaching activities and application of methodology of science.

Idris stressed that the government needed to invest good amount of money on education.

“According to UN, you have to invest not less than 26 per cent of total budget in education. Priority needs to be given to education if we must prosper as a nation.”

Prof. Haruna Ayuba, an Environmental Scientist said the trip was needed due to the fact that space images help determine the ground level.

Ayuba decried that the polytechnic educational systems in the country had been relegated to the background, adding that it was designed to build the technology manpower of the country.

Ayuba said that the country needed a strategic plan to ensure that the science and technology sector was developed.

Mr Seidu Mohammed, the Director-General NASRDA said space technology in any nation was an asset.

Represented by Mr Halilu Shaba, the Director, Strategic Space Application, Mohammed said that the agency had been relevant in many areas the nation needed satellite images.

He, however, encouraged the students to utilise satellite technology in their research work to ensure sustainability.

The theme of the three days field trip is Environmental Sustainability in the Federal Capital Territory and Its Environs.

The students on the first day of the field trip visited Usman Dam, Bwari, NASRDA on the second day and Wupa Treatment Plant will be visited on the third day, on Saturday.