NAU Inaugurates Committee For STEM Development In Igbo Language

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The Management of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, in alliance with Odinala Cultural Heritage Foundation known as OCHIE Igbo on Friday, 15th March 2024 inaugurated a committee for the development of a curriculum for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with the Igbo language as the language of instruction and evaluation for Primary, Post-primary Schools, as well as Tertiary institutions, domiciled in the South East Geopolitical zone of the country.

The event which was held at the ASUU Secretariat UNIZIK had the assemblage of scholars, educationists, policy makers as well as cultural custodians of the Igbo language, values and traditions all in attendance.

Declaring the event open as part of the inauguration, UNIZIK Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone, FAS, described the event of vital importance for science education in Igbo nation which will symbolize a successful partnership between Ochie Igbo and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, towards developing a curriculum for STEM with Igbo Language as Language of Instruction and Evaluation.

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Prof. Esimone averred that the task which Ochie Igbo and the Department of Curriculum and Methodology, UNIZIK, have set about is geared towards teaching Igbo Children basic sciences in Igbo Language anchored on the premise that children learn better when the language of instruction is in the mother tongue.

The Vice Chancellor while commending the Foundation for initiating the ideas, charged the committee members to take on the assignment diligently to yield productive results.

In his address, the Executive Director of OCHIE Igbo Centre for STEM School, Dr. Chinedum Benedict Okoro informed that the Project is aimed at raising a generation of Umuigbo that can conceive ideas, think, create, innovate and invent Igbo Langauage which will lead to development, advancement and self-redemption of the Igbo race.

The Ochie Igbo boss disclosed that over the years, educationists, researchers and curriculum development experts have argued that children perform better when taught in their mother tongue. He informed that in actualization of the project, Ochie Igbo sought and secured partnership with STEMPedia and Agilo Research Company Limited, a renowned STEM school based in India, committed to raising a generatiom of smart kids.

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In his keynote speech, Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Prof. Chinedu Nebo who spoke on the topic, ‘The Potentials of mainstreaming Igbo as the language of instruction and evaluation for STEM in Igboland’ called on all Tertiary institutuons in the South East Geopolitical zone to make Igbo language compulsory for students before graduation.

Prof. Nebo also galvanized support for the STEM project by calling on South East Governors to make the language a criterion for job interviewees and all those seeking government work in the region.

On his part, the National President of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, stated that the project will take Igbo race to greater heights as can be seen in other climes who developed their STEM project in their local dialect and language.

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Chief Iwuanyanwu who was represented by the Director, ESUT Business School and President Ohaneze Ndigbo, Enugu State branch, Prof. Frederick Eze eulogized Ochie Igbo for the innovation while also thanking UNIZIK for the partnership which will lead to the actualization of the goals. The scholar informed that the Apex Igbo Socio-cultural group will give immense support to the project in view of its actualization.

Highpoints of the event was the inauguration of the Committees for the Development of the STEM.

Cultural dance, musical performance and newcasting in Igbo Language were other highlights of the occasion.

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