Bayelsa Moves To Prioritise Teaching Of Ijaw, French, Chinese In Public Schools

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The Bayelsa State Government is taking steps to make the teaching and learning of the Ijaw, French and Chinese languages as well as science and mathematics a priority in public schools in the state.

The Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, made this known during a courtesy visit to him by the state chapter of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) in Government House in Yenagoa.

He explained that the government was emphasizing the teaching of the three languages, and the core science subjects, including mathematics, to prepare and equip the children to take full advantage of career opportunities in those subjects.

The deputy governor, in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, on Thursday, said the growing economic influence of China in global affairs as a major state actor in world trade and commerce, justifies the inclusion of Chinese as a subject in the school curriculum.

He said, “I am happy about the programme you are introducing. For us, we have made it compulsory; we are pursuing STEM because we believe that with that, the negative impression of Bayelsa State would change sooner or later.

“We will be available for anything you want us to do from the government angle. As I told you earlier, in our teachers recruitment we deliberately emphasized science, ICT and mathematics.

“We are recruiting more teachers in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, agricultural science and computer science. The other subjects we are placing priority are, Chinese, French and Ijaw languages.”

Ewhrudjakpo, who charged the members of APWEN to make teamwork their watchword to achieve their objectives as a professional body, urged them to also include male students in their programmes.

He pointed out that the engineering career requires a lot of hard work for one to be awarded a fellowship, urging the association to work together in closer synergy to gain more visibility in the male-dominated profession.

He advised APWEN to redouble their effort at marketing the engineering profession to the girl-child at the secondary level for more female students to embrace and develop an interest in engineering as a course of study and profession.

Ewhrudjakpo appreciated the national and state executive councils of APWEN for honouring him with awards in recognition of his contributions to the growth and development of the engineering profession in the state and the country in general.

Earlier in their separate remarks, the state chairman of APWEN, Diepreye Owana-Omubo, and the vice chairman, Ann Jonathan Obuebite, said the association was doing everything to push its corporate social responsibility project aimed at introducing the girl-child to engineering at the basic education level.

They commended the state government for establishing more technical colleges and the recruitment of science and mathematics teachers to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the state.

The highpoint of the visit was the presentation of two special awards to Ewhrudjakpo by the President of APWEN, represented by the state vice chairman, Ann Jonathan Obuebite, and state APWEN chairman, Diepreye Owana-Omubo, respectively.

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