BY BLESSING SERKWI WEYIH
‘‘We intend to improve the students’ performance in science subjects and for them to develop interests in preparation for a career in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering and to take up interest in subjects like Mathematics and Physics. For we know that, our education system in Cameroon is full of challenges and is more focused on general education with little emphasis on technology, mathematics and engineering oriented subjects which is what the Cameroonian society needs to bring about the much needed changes and innovations in the educational system of the country’’. The CBC Education Secretary Mr. Nyanganji Job Indi made these pronouncements during the Inaugural Team Meeting that was organized in Limbe on July 31st 2021 in preparation for the launching of a 32months scientific research project on STEM/STEPS Education in Cameroon under the auspices of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada and the NextgenU.org of Canada as Technical partners.
The essence of this meeting was to bring together Team Cameroon Members on board in order to give them a better understanding about the novel scientific research project on STEM Education-Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and also to acquaint them on their individual tasks and contributions in the implementation of the project which the CBC ED is poised to carry out in the country. It is important to note that African countries involved in this research project are Cameroon (CBCED), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Benin with the CBCED as the Lead organization and headed by the CBC Education Secretary, Mr. Nyanganji Job Indi as the Project Team Leader. During this meeting, he revealed that the project has to do with Students and Teachers Education for Primary Schools (STEPS) and the objectives are to promote the use of appropriate information technology in order to improve learning and assessment systems, promote gender equality and generally to improve access to STEM Education. He went further to state that, this project will increase access to education for children in the rural areas and marginalized students with a focus on education access for girls. With all of these, the educationist confidently stated that the research will provide quality digital materials for initial and continual teacher training in the STEM content ‘‘if we have to realize the vision 2035 emergence, we must engage our younger generation to take interest in sciences, technology and engineering oriented courses and of course having interests in mathematics which is a core subject to the above mentioned disciplines’’. The Education Secretary concluded.
It was in this same vein that the Pedagogic Adviser for Secondary Education of the CBCED Mr. Atanga Naphthalin who is also the Principal Investigator No one of the STEM/STEPS research project said: ‘‘This academic adventure seeks to encourage digital literacy and act as an eye opener for curriculum designers to see the reasons why there is a need to integrate technology in our curricular design to teach primary/secondary schools while providing mechanisms for teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics for quality education of our country’’.
The Education Secretary Mr. Nyanganji Job therefore called on the Team Cameroon Members to brace up as they would in the days ahead be working in synergy with the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovations of the country to implement this project while hoping that in the final analysis, national policies will be shaped. With all these revelations, the participants were not hesitant of the fact that, the traditional approach to education in Cameroon has been to present different subjects in isolation as though they have little or nothing to do with one another. This no doubt could be said that letting pupils/students see the interconnectivity between STEM subjects especially with regards to tackling real life challenges is a central pillar of STEM education.