Seeks adaptation of learning, teaching to accommodate COVID-19 realities

Educationists in Nigeria are proposing a rejig of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to a more inclusive teaching and learning model for teaching and learning across all levels of education in the country.

STEM has become a globally accepted learning model that seeks practical application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to solving problems.

At the forthcoming 35th Conference of the Nigerian Academy of Education (NAE), the umbrella body for all professionals and associations in education in Nigeria holding at the University of Abuja in Nigeria’s Federal Capital the academics would be looking at how to adapt this to include other disciplines. They are pushing for the inclusion of Arts in STEM, modifying it into Science Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) as the fulcrum for teaching and learning in Nigerian schools.

The Academy, in a statement announcing the 2021 annual conference stated that STEAM would help Nigeria make the best of the creative industry, Arts and related discipline by linking them up to science, technology, engineering, especially at a time the learning environment is being altered by the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

The Local Organising Committee Chairman, Professor Salihu Ingawa, while making allusion to the focus of the 35th Annual meeting of NAE and the relevance to the country’s current development needs said, “Before now, there appeared to be a rigid distinction between Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines and the Arts which include the non-sciences like Fine and Visual Arts, Music, Social Studies and others. Curriculum experts, having taken a critical look at this see such discrimination as non-productive in a world driven by inclusive collaborative principles. So the new approach to teaching and learning encourages integration of Arts subjects into STEM disciplines to achieve what is now known as STEAM. This is thus made a point of focus at the 35th annual congress of the NAE.”

On the relevance of STEAM amid the COVID-19 pandemic challenge, Prof. Ingawa said, “One usefulness of this curriculum approach is the promise of harvesting richer inclusive educational outcomes for the learner and the society.”

“Learning and teaching at all levels will have to take cognisance of the new normal and must now emphasise entrepreneurship and self-sustenance as outcomes,” he added.

During the conference, discussions around STEAM would be kick-started by a keynote to be delivered by Professor Ben Akpan, Past President of the International Council of Associations for Science Education (ICASE).

It is to this effect that the Academy has made STEAM the major focus of their 35th Annual Congress holding in November.

With the theme titled, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) and Collaborative Education in Post COVID-19 21st century, the Academy wants to rave attention to the critical role non-sciences such as Fine and Visual Arts, music, social studies and the likes play to compliment the already established Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in a fast evolving society as Nigeria’s.

Prof. Akpan, a Professor of Science Education who is also Chair of World Conferences Standing Committee will lead the discussion to look at STEAM from Basic to tertiary levels of education within the post COVID-19 learning environment.

The 35th Annual conference of NAE has the following sub-themes, including STEAM Education at the Basic Education Level after COVID-19;  STEAM Education at Senior Secondary Education Level After COVID-19 and STEAM Education at the Tertiary Education After COVID-19.

 

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