To boost participation of young girls in the engineering field, the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) has presented scholarship to 21 pupils to study engineering courses up to the university level.
The initiative sponsored by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under the leadership of its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru is for the six geographical zones.
The current beneficiaries in Bauchi State are; selected from Zadawa central primary school, Hardawa central primary school, Akuyam; Tudun Wada central primary school, Sarki Amadu central primary school, Rufa Iqua Ers; Sagongari primary school, Sirko, Gwani Muktar, Mangai and Fawari primary school.
At Sarki Ahmadu Primary School, Misau, Bauchi State last year, 100 pupils from different schools carried out experiment conducted by the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria out of which 21 who participated in the experiment were selected for the scholarship.
However, ten of the 21 will enjoy the scholarship at Senior Secondary One level up to the university. Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria is; a non-profit organisation and a division of Nigeria Society of Engineers which was; established in 1983, currently has about 1,688 registered female members.
As part of its mission is; to promote the study of science by young girls; and to significantly increase the number of female students opting for Science; Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) and interest in the profession; the Invent it, build it programme was; launched with NNPC as the execution partner.
Speaking at the presentation of one-year school fees to the 21 winners held at the Palace of the Emir of Misau in Bauchi, Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria president, Mrs. Felicia Agubata described the initiative as a girl-child education event which is; designed to ignite passion for engineering in young girls, showcase the socio-economic value; and application of engineering in everyday life.
She disclosed that the programme targets girls aged 8 to 10years in upper primary school and covers the six-geo-political zones in Nigeria.She said: “We have covered five out of the six and we are not stopping till we complete the last.
I congratulate the girls and hope that they continue to achieve brilliance in your education. I acknowledge the efforts of the head teachers, teachers; and parents and I urge you to continue to lead them and be sure that they dont get knocked out.”
Addressing the pupils, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru observed that it is a documented fact that no nation has become powerful and developed without the development of STEM even as science is life and STEM are economic drivers and engineers the problem solvers.
Dr. Baru charged the students to be; diligent, develop an eye for details and posses the ability to multi-task which females are; known for stressing that if established women engineers can do it; the pupils can do it even better.
“The organisation where I work employs thousands of professionals including engineers. You too can work there when you grow older if you take your education seriously from primary to secondary school and then get an engineering degree from the University.
I urge the school management at Sarki Ahmad pry school to make the best use of the science laboratory, which has reached about 70per cent completion,” he said.He lauded the executive and members of Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria for the diligence with which they have carried out the Invent it, Build it programme.