THE ROLE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
HABIBA GARBA AHMAD
PHYSICS DEPARTMENT, FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, KANO.
In order to enhance Science and Technology Education, it is necessary to understand the contribution of Science and Technology Education to national development. This paper examines the contribution of Science and Technology Education to national development: The Nigerian experience with a view of making it a tool for national development worthwhile. Since societies that discriminate technical education among its counterpart pays a high price in their ability to reduce poverty and develop. Enhancing national development depends on improving the situation of technical education. Reducing the gap in education reduces individual poverty and encourages economic growth and enhances national development. Problems and Challenges to National Education Policies were also discussed as they relate to difficulty in finding, training and retraining of well qualified science teachers, difficulty in keeping up with emerging science and changing teaching practice, public perceptions related to science, difficulty in maintaining a relevant science curriculum at all levels, funding and lack of information. In order to overcome the challenges of science and Technology education, the paper offers recommendations with a view to enhancing the contribution of Science and Technology Education to national development.
Science is a human endeavor concerned with a knowledge that seeks to describe conditions and circumstances within our natural environment (). However, some scientists see science as the, what, how or why of things and happenings in the environment. Fafunwa (1980) described science education as the aggregate of all the processes by which a child or young adult develops the abilities, attitudes and other forms of behavior which are of positive value to the society in which he lives. Science education is a field of study tailored to achieve; a) The production of scientifically literate society and
b) The development of potential scientific and technological manpower. According to the Webster dictionary, development is a gradual growth or advancement through progressive change i.e it refers to the process of growth from infancy (beginning) to a more advanced state (adulthood). Education as defined by Okojie (2007), involves the socialization of individuals to become integral part of the society in which they live. Essentially, the science that was regarded as informal and indigenous was Practiced in the pre-colonial era. It was stimulating, informative and useful. It provided a lead way for understanding, interpreting and relating with the world and nature. The limitations however are numerous Especially in its inability to provide adequate scientific explanations for causes and events observed in the natural world.
National development entails to a very large extent producing more ad better food to eat, healthier and happier individuals, better living conditions and accommodation, improved transportation and communication systems, sound education and enlightenment among the populace and generally more money floating around the government and greater percentage of the populace (okoye, 1997). In most societies, the above represents the core indices of national development. It has been an accepted fact that any group or society that neglects the influence of science and technology to modern world is doomed to obsolesce. A major distinction between an advanced country and developing country today is to a large measure the differences between their levels of scientific and technological development. It is no exaggeration to assert that science education is the gate way to a scientific and technological society. Hence, science as a...
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