Girls urged to de­velop con­fi­dence in maths, science

Daily Trust - - EDUCATION - By Chidimma C. Okeke

As part of ac­tiv­i­ties to mark the In­ter­na­tional Day of the Girl Child, a univer­sity lec­turer has called on girls to pur­sue a ca­reer in Science, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Math­e­mat­ics (STEM).

Rabia Sal­ihu Sa’id of the depart­ment of Physics, Bayero Univer­sity Kano and an ac­tive citizen’s fa­cil­i­ta­tor of the Bri­tish Coun­cil Nige­ria, said it is im­por­tant to get more girls into STEM be­cause the ben­e­fits de­rived from its ad­vance­ment is not lim­ited to one gen­der.

Sa’id said: “Sci­en­tific so­lu­tions to prob­lems that be­devil the world in medicine, in the im­pacts of tech­nol­ogy, in health care, in en­gi­neer­ing, re­quire in­put from both men and women.”

“More girls in science will mean that the so­lu­tions that science pro­vides are not just tai­lored to the needs of a sin­gle gen­der.” She opined that girls lack con­fi­dence in purs­ing ca­reers in such fields es­pe­cially in the north­ern part of the coun­try, say­ing, the road to the pur­suit of an aca­demic de­gree in STEM is lined with ob­sta­cles that the young girls will have to over­come.

She iden­ti­fied du­ra­tion of aca­demic de­gree in STEM which is within 4-5 years and peer group pres­sure as some of the fac­tors work­ing against more girls’ en­roll­ment in the STEM.

Ac­cord­ing to the don, men­tor­ing process for the young girls, show­cas­ing role mod­els, schol­ar­ships and fund op­por­tu­ni­ties as well as awards, recog­ni­tion and fel­low­ships will go a long way in help­ing the girls dis­cover their abil­ity and know they can do it.

She fur­ther said, “The in­put from the young girls on what will mo­ti­vate them more needs to be sought. This could be done by or­ga­niz­ing an in­ter­ac­tive pro­gramme for the young girls in STEM.”

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