The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, APWEN, Lagos Chapter has announced the winners for the second edition of Felicia Agubata Science Competition and Scholarship for Girls in Public Primary Schools (FASCOS). The event, which took place in Ikorodu was organised by the Lagos Chapter of the Association in honour of a former President of the Association. Engr Felicia Agubata.
Speaking at the event, the Rector of Federal, Oko, Dr Francisca Nwafulugo appealed to all tiers of government, and religious and cultural bodies to encourage the girl child to study science for the nation’s quick advancement. She spoke on the backdrop of the shortfall in enrollment of children in schools.
Nwafulugo, the first female Rector of the Polytechnics, while delivering the keynote at the event, highlighted various obstacles obstructing the education of girl child and suggested means to address them.
She pointed out statistics of negative consequences of keeping the girl child away from sciences. She said that the nation gains tremendously when girls are educated than when they are not. She listed role models women who have succeeded in the profession and made Nigeria proud locally and globally.
According to her, some of the measures to address the challenges include legislation toward properly harnessing the potential of girls in achieving rapid national growth “These call for collaborative effort by the government, religious bodies and traditional institutions to put measures in place that will eliminate these barriers to girl child education.
“Having said that, I wish to call on all tiers of government to promote and substantially fund science education in order to position the nation on the path of technological advancement,’’ she said.
She added that science drove global discoveries and inventions and Nigeria needed to build inclusive capacity for boys and girls to compete together in a healthy environment that was not gender discriminatory.
Nwafulugo commended Engr Felicia Agubata, for her interest in development of the girl child whom she described as “great asset that should never be jeopardised’’.
President of APWEN, Dr Elizabeth Eterigho, backed the keynote speaker on statistics on discrimination against girls in education which was creating a vacuum that should be urgently addressed.
Eterigho said FASCOS, inaugurated in 2021, was to create opportunity via a scholarship scheme for the less privileged girls to embrace and study science.
“Science is a powerful tool to shape the world and make it a better, safer, more creative, innovative and exciting place to be. Yet, there are lots of girls who are out of school because of insufficient funds to pay their fees,’’ she said.
Also, Engr. Monsurah Alagbe, Chairman, APWEN Lagos Chapter said the association birthed over 38 years ago had been championing opportunities for the girl child toward career options in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
11 primary schools took part in the competition and cash prizes were given to the best performing pupils among the winners.
Miss Justina Achem, from Anwarul Islamiya Primary School, Elepe, second runner up, won N50,000.00 while Amarachi Abebe of Methodist Primary School Elepe won N75,000.00 as the first runner up. Miss Anthonia Nkwogu, from PowerField Primary School went home with N100,000.00 and several other gifts for coming first for her school.
Nkwogu thanked the organisers and advised other pupils to choose careers in the sciences because the world was going digital.
Felicia Agubata Science Competition and Scholarship for Girls in Public Schools, (FASCOS) is an annual competition based on Arithmetic, Quantitative Reasoning, Basic Science and Civic Education. It is organised in honour of Dr Felicia Agubata, a former President of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), for igniting passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in young girls for career opportunities.
In attendance: Engr (Dr) Felicia Agubata,’ President (APWEN) Engr Dr Elizabeth Jumoke Eterigho; Vice President COREN Engr David Omonibeke; past President of APWEN Engr Idiat Amusu’ Engr Bose Dahunsi, Former president of APWEN Engr Dr Patricia Opene-Odili, Branch Chairman Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) Egbin-Ikorodu Branch Engr Bashiru Mohammed , Chairman Planning Committee Engr Atinuke Owolabi. former Chairman (NSE) ikeja Branch Engr Akin Charles Akintola; and a host of others.