The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has tasked schools in Nigeria on the need to teach science and mathematics in indigenous languages early in life as it will enhance learning and understanding.
The minister gave the task shortly after he was conferred with Honorary Doctorate Degree in Science during the 5th Convocation ceremony of the Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State.
Onu said: “As we encourage the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in our schools, we should, at the early stages in our school system, use indigenous languages in teaching science and mathematics.
“This will help us produce Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry and medicine in the years to come.
“We must find indigenous ways of funding research and innovation in the country.
“This will help convert ideas into products and services, reduce importation of goods from abroad, increase exports to other countries, create jobs and wealth at home.”
He further said that universities, research institutions, industry and the government must relate with one another, so as to encourage free flow of information for the good the nation.
Onu, who described young people as an inestimable treasure of the country, said that it was heartwarming that young Nigerians have dominated the world in sports, music, entertainment among others. He quickly added : “I am happy they are showing signs of dominance in technology’’.
“Through the incubation programme of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, as many as 2,500 products developed from research findings are found in our markets.
“Many of the young people made this possible through start-ups. Start-ups in many cases have grown to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs),’’ he said.
He noted that over the world, the largest corporations are technology companies; adding: “They are individuals whose assets acquired through science and technology is more than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of many countries put together’’.
“The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology has put in place, the Executive Order Number 5 and the National Strategy for Competitiveness in Raw Materials and Product Development in Nigeria which give preference to Nigerian professionals and Nigerian firms in most of our economic activities.
“Hence, our young people should see the future with hope and great expectation. Working together, we will build the nation of our dream,’’ he added.