The Centre for Atmospheric Research (CAR), has promised to support one Government Technical College in Kogi State, with modern laboratory equipment and teaching materials.

Prof. Babatunde Rabiu, Director-General of the centre, made the pledge on Friday at the ”2019 Girls Astronomy Camp” holding at the Salem University, Lokoja.

Rabiu said that the centre would also provide training to teaching staff of the college.

He explained that the camp was aimed at promoting the beauty of science of astronomy, to stimulate the interest of school girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“I have discussed with my senior colleagues and we have agreed to adopt one of the government technical colleges, to add value to whatever they are doing there.

“We will communicate with the commissioner within the next few days on how to go about this.

“We will be releasing some of our staff to teach alongside the existing teachers in the school. We shall also donate modern teaching materials, laboratory equipment, manpower, among others,” Rabiu said.

He stressed that the 2019 girls astronomy camp was an exercise aimed at catching the students for STEM, saying that the activity was “exciting and full of fun at certain times”.

According to him, more than 200 students from 31 schools have registered and are already in the camp to participate in the programme.

In her remarks, Mrs. Rosemary Osikoya, the state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, commended the centre for organising the camp and for adopting a school, and advised other stakeholders to emulate the gesture.

Osikoya opined that the state had adequate potential and intellectual abilities to excel in STEM, but lacked the required facilities such as equipment, infrastructure, manpower, among others.

She said that Gov. Yahaya Bello had approved the establishment, upgrading and strengthening of 17 additional science and technical colleges to the existing four.

“Provisions have been made in the 2019 budget for each of the 21 local government areas to have a technical and vocational school to ease access to that branch of knowledge by young people seeking it.

The commissioner appealed to individuals, groups, organisations, communities, and other stakeholders to also adopt a school so as to enhance the teaching and learning of science and technology.

Prof. Dorcas Oluwade, the Vice Chancellor, Salem University, Lokoja, in his remarks, commended the organisers of the programme, saying that it would help the girl-child to develop interest in STEM.

She urged the girls to be more scientifically focused and embrace science courses such as Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.

”At the end of this camp, we hope that our girls will develop interest in astronomy,” Oluwade said.

The 2019 Girls Astronomy camp was organised by CAR in collaboration with the Astronomers Without Borders (AWB).

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