In a bid to promote science and technology education across Nigeria, the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has initiated the Technology Story Board (TSB) project and upgraded the chemistry laboratory at Ibadan Grammar School in Ibadan, Oyo State.
During the commissioning ceremony, the executive governor of the state, His Excellency, Engr. Oluseyi Makinde expressed that the model laboratory equipment provided to the school is part of the Federal Government’s efforts to complement the state government’s initiatives in promoting the teaching and learning of science-based subjects in Nigerian schools.
Governor Makinde stated that the project will play a significant role in nurturing and motivating young talents to engage in demand-driven research and development activities that contribute to the scientific and technological advancements of the state and the country as a whole. He emphasised that his administration’s education policy is centred on nurturing youth and unlocking their potential through a diversified curriculum and practical teaching methods.
The governor conveyed his appreciation to NOTAP for their commendable projects and assured that the students and teachers of Ibadan Grammar School would not only make effective use of the equipment but also protect them from damage. He also took the opportunity to appeal for additional support for other secondary and tertiary institutions in the state.
In his address, the director-general and chief executive officer of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim, represented by the director of technology transfer and registration, Dr. Ephraim Okejiri stated that the launch of the TSB project and the upgrade of the chemistry laboratory at Ibadan Grammar School were aimed at instilling a spirit of science, technology and innovation in Nigerian schools.
Ibrahim emphasised that no nation can progress without the foundations of science, technology and innovation, which necessitates equipping Nigerian science secondary schools with state-of-the-art laboratory equipment to facilitate practical teaching and learning at a young age.
He added that secondary schools lay a crucial educational groundwork, and if students miss out on the fundamental aspects of science at this level, it becomes challenging to catch up.
NOTAP was established not only to regulate the influx of foreign technology but also to encourage and promote the development of locally driven technologies. Ibrahim acknowledged a gap between academia and industry and stressed that for Nigeria to become a major player in the global technology market, this situation had to be urgently addressed.
To bridge the gap, NOTAP, in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), facilitated the establishment of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTO) in Nigerian knowledge institutions in 2006. The aim was to ensure that Nigerian researchers focus more on demand-driven research rather than solely pursuing conventional research for career advancement.
Ibrahim noted that before the establishment of IPTTOs in Nigerian tertiary institutions, the culture of intellectual property (IP) was weak. He expressed the office’s intention to extend the project of upgrading chemistry laboratories to secondary schools across the country’s geopolitical zones, subject to the availability of funds.
In a goodwill message, the national president of Ibadan Grammar School Old Students Association, Mr. Demeji Mako, represented by the vice-president, Mr. Balogun Ojetola expressed gratitude to NOTAP for their consistent efforts in promoting science and technology education in Nigeria through impactful projects and programmes.
He assured NOTAP that the upgraded equipment would greatly benefit the school and mentioned that the old students’ association is seeking collaboration, particularly in the area of scholarships.
Launching the TSB project and upgrading the chemistry laboratory at Ibadan Grammar School marked a significant step toward fostering scientific and technological development in Nigeria’s educational system. Through these initiatives, NOTAP is playing a crucial role in equipping students with the necessary tools and opportunities to excel in the fields of science and technology, ultimately contributing to the growth and progress of the nation.