The Quality of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education in Nigeria is on a steady decline and the causes are not farfetched; poverty, minimal or no investments in the training of teachers, inadequate learning aids, it is a long list. Traditional education is not keeping up with today’s knowledge economy; training our younger generation to position for opportunities of the future and this calls for worry.
Africa focused integrated digital payments and commerce company, Interswitch is making the big move with the launch of the Interswitch SPAK National Science Competition to re-ignite the importance of STEM Education for the younger Nigerian generation, reward excellence and provide opportunities for more exploits because a nation can only go as far as its brightest minds.
SPAK is an acronym for Speed, Precision, Accuracy and Knowledge. The competition is open to students in year 11 and schools across the country are encouraged to register their best students for the competition.
Speaking at the launch event, Chief Marketing Officer, Interswitch, Cherry Eromosele said;
“SPAK as we have termed it, is a distinctive concept under the Interswitch ‘Switch A Future’ initiative. As a mix of education, technology and entertainment which align with Interswitch’s fundamental values of excellence and innovation, this initiative is designed to identify, promote and spark the right support and reward for STEM students and stakeholders.
“For our youth to succeed in today’s knowledge based economy; they need to acquire the right skill set, their minds need to be re-engineered and reconciled with STEM education in order to compete in or create a job market.”
It was revealed that the top 2 students will be awarded a 5-year scholarship, a mac laptop and gold trophy; and a 3-year scholarship, a laptop and a silver trophy accordingly while the third will receive a 2 year scholarship, a laptop, and a bronze trophy. In addition to these, all 3 winners are guaranteed immediate employment at Interswitch upon graduation.
“We are committed to building a brighter future for the Nigerian child, and we are firm believers in the Nigerian dream. It is up to us to push this country to the forefront of science, technology, engineering and mathematical development and invention.” Cherry added.
A recent WEF study shows that by 2030, more than half of the jobs in the world will be STEM based. Interswitch as a forward thinking brand, passionate about powering the curiosity that drive innovation across the continent is thus making a conscious effort to promote the study of STEM based subjects. Interswitch SPAK is geared at equipping the younger Nigerian generation for the future and the daring opportunities it will present.