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Fafunwa Foundation Internet Journal of Education
Second Foundation Annual Lecture - 1998

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION IN
NIGERIA IN THE 21ST CENTURY - E. Ayotunde Yoloye

INTRODUCTION

There are three key disciplines in the topic of this lecture: Science, Technology and Mathematics. Definitions therefore seem in order as an introduction to the topic. However, one can get bogged dawn with words in definitions. Therefore I will try to be as brief and simple as possible.

Science is a study of nature and natural phenomena to discover their principles and laws.

Technology is the harnessing of the principles and laws of nature to produce instruments and structures useful to man in day to day living.

Mathematics is the study of quantitative relations. It qual-ifies as a science in its own right but is often regarded as a language of and a link between all the sciences.

A simple distinction may be made by considering how the three disciplines accumulate knowledge. Science and Mathematics advance through discoveries, while technology advances through inventions.

What Science discovers often already exists. Thus, Newton's Laws of motion were not created by Newton. They are laws of nature which Newton was the first to discover and which are therefore labelled with his name. Mathematics is unique in that it often works in abstractions, dealing with figures and quantities as distinct from any physical entities to which they may be attached. Thus the Figure 1 is an abstraction in its own right. It does not depend on whether you are dealing with one orange, or one woman or one house etc. Mathematical concepts however find significant applications in dealing with physical entities.

Inventions on the other hand deal with the creation of new structures. Such new structures do not occur naturally even though the components may be naturally occurring substances.

Science, Technology and Mathematics interact intimately and the boundary lines are sometimes difficult to draw even though each may be espoused by different experts. Archimedes was a unique example of an individual who excelled in all three branches of knowledge.

Archimedes (287-212 B.C) was a Greek born in Syracuse, a Greek colony in Sicily, of an influential family. Some say he came from a royal family but he kept himself aloof from public affairs, concentrating on his intellectual studies. He studied in Alexandria and later returned to Sicily. He was at the same time a mathematician, a scientist and an inventor. In Mathematics, he produced treatises in plane and solid geometry, specifically, on the circle (discovering fairly closely the value of pi), the parabola and spirals. In science he worked on mechanics & hydrostatics discovering the famous Archimedes' Principle on floatation and the principle of the lever. So convinced was he of the principle of moments on which levers operate that he is credited with having made the now famous statement: "Da mihi locum standi et terra movebo". - Give me a place stand and I will move the world.

These days, many people quote that statement as though it were a political statement. But it was a scientific statement. What Archimedes said was that if he could find a place outside the planet earth to stand on, a lever or pole long enough and a place to install a fulcrum, he with his ordinary human strength would lift planet earth using the principle of moments through a lever.

Archimedes was also a technologist of the highest order. He invented many machines one of the most famous of which was the Archimedean screw for lifting water. He also invented many machines of war which came in very useful in the defence of Syracuse when the Romans invaded it in 212 BC. When Syracuse was eventually captured, Archimedes was slain by a Roman soldier whom he had scolded for stepping on a mathematical diagram which he had drawn in the sand. It looked like a case of the sword being mightier than the pen, but was it? The reckless soldier had remained an unknown Roman soldier while the name of Archimedes has reverberated in scientific circles and science class rooms all over the world for about 22 cen-turies.

In modern times, certain observations that have been made with respect to scientific and technological development in various industrialised countries also highlight the distinction between science and technology. Japan which has made such remarkable advance technologically has often been accused of not doing enough to contribute to basic scientific knowledge.

Rembser (1996) says

"Because of its limited expenditure on basic research in the past, Japan had been accused of contributing too little to the creation of universally available knowledge in the basic scientific field. Instead it has been using the scientific findings and innova-tions of other countries for its own techno-logical developments and innovations. ... The growth of Japanese indus-trial market leadership, however, was accom-panied by the inescapable realisation that more had to be done in the way of basic research in Japan itself, not least to reduce dependence on other countries. In late June 1996, the Japanese Council for Science and tech-nology recommended an increase of 50% in Government expenditure on research for the next five years".

The Japanese experience highlights two important points. Firstly the dependence of technology on basic scientific knowledge and secondly the fact that you do not necessarily have to discover the scientific information yourself but can ride on the back of already discovered information to develop your own technology.



EDUCATION IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MATHEMATICS

World Trend

Although modern experimental science emerged in the 16th Century, the teaching of science was slow in finding its way into the formal curricula of formal educational institutions. According to Lauwerys (1957),

"Science had been given its head in industry but had been frustrated and hamstrung in education. In so far as scien-tific knowledge was evidently essential to the then modern living, it was provided within industry itself or in special institutions called `technical colleges' which was regarded as inferior institutions and seldom attracted men of high calibre or of the upper class".

Science finally found its way into formal school curricula in the late 19th Century in the USA and continental Europe and in the early 20th Century in England and Wales. In other words, science got into formal school curriculum three centuries or more after its emergence.

Yet, during the 20th Century, the influence of science and technology on society has become so overpowering that not only are the basic natural sciences taught in schools at primary, secondary and tertiary levels, but there is increased tendency to introduce courses on "Science, Technology and Society" (STS) into the science education curriculum of formal educa-tional institutions. In the 1980s and 1990s, this trend has broadened into advocacy of "science for all" sometimes referred to as the "scientific literacy movement".

The Trend in Nigeria
In Nigeria, like many other African countries, science came into the schools through the influence of the colonial mas-ters. Up till the early 1960s science was given relatively little attention. In the primary schools. What passed for science were
(i) Nature Study,
(ii) Hygiene and
(iii) Rural Science.

The objectives were simple, namely, development of clean and healthy habits, a knowledge of nature; specifically plants and animals, and of principles and techniques of farming.

In secondary schools, Physics, Chemistry and Biology were taught as regular school subjects. However, facilities and equipment for teaching them were inadequate and only a few secondary schools taught them. The objectives of science education in secondary schools were seldom explicitly stated and because science, like other secondary school subjects, was geared to overseas examinations (Cambridge and London school certificates or GCEs) the stating of objectives was left to those examining bodies. The attainment of independence in 1960 brought a new impetus. A number of international conferences in the early sixties drew the attention of devel-oping countries, especially in Africa, to the need for science and technology. Three of the most significant were the Rehovoth Conference of 1960, the Addis Ababa Conference of 1961 and the Tananarive Conference of 1962.

1. The Rehovoth (Israel) 1960 Conference on Science in the Development of New States

Two of the recommendations of the conference read as follows:
(a) The Governments of developing states should regard the furtherance of science and technology as a major objective of their national politics and make appropriate provision for funds and opportunities to achieve this end.

(b) Until such time as their own scientific manpower is adequate, new and developing states would be well advised to seek the help of scientific advisers and experts from friendly coun-tries and international agencies to help them develop a scien-tific practice and tradition. (Gruber 1961).

2. The Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) 1961 Conference of African States on the Develop-ment of Education in Africa Organised by UNESCO and ECA

Among other important pronouncements, the conference recommended that

"African educational authorities should revise and reform the content of education in the area of the curriculum, text books and methods, so as to take account of the African environment, child development, cultural heritage and the demands of tech-nological progress and economic development, especially industrialisation".
(Unesco 1961).
3. The Tananarive (Madagascar) 1962 Conference of African Ministers of Education on the Development of Higher Educa-tion in Africa

Among other things, the conference declared that the ratio of students in scientific and technological fields to those in the humanities in higher education should be 60:40.

Rohovoth drew attention to the importance of science and technology in development and pointed out the need for assist-ance from more developed countries.

Addis Ababa highlighted in particular the issue of relevance and identified four facets of it which are important for science and technology education thus:
(i) the African environment,
(ii) African child development,
(iii) African cultural heritage and
(iv) the demands of technological progress and economic develop-ment.

Tananarive highlighted the importance of developing indigenous manpower for science and technology in Africa and the 60:40 ratio became a guideline for university admission in many African countries especially Nigeria.

African countries took the issue of science and technology seriously in their drive for modernisation and within each country, active steps were taken to further their development through education.

The Rohovoth conference led to an incident which gave added impetus to the development of science and mathematics in Africa. A Sierra Leonean educationist, the Rev. Solomon A. Caulker who participated in that conference made a tremendous impact on the international community through his statements and ideas. Caulker unfortunately died in an air crash outside Dakar on his way back from the conference, Jerrold Zacharias, an American physicist who had also been at Rehovoth was so touched by the tragedy that he determined to keep the spirit and ideas of Caulker alive. He initiated an international conference on African education which became known as the "African Summer Study: The Endicott House Conference" - A major consequence of the conference was the establishment of the African Education Programme in Mathematics and Science funded by the USAID and the Ford Foundation (EDC 1967). The African Mathematics Programme (AMP) introduced the then "modern mathe-matics" to Africa under the label "Entebbe Mathematics". A number of Nigerian educators participated in the programme, for example, Grace Alele-Williams, Ben Ukeje, Peter Lassa, and the late Plus Igboko. These people spearheaded its introduc-tion into Nigerian schools. Following the Endicott House Conference, Professor A. Babs Fafunwa, who had been a partici-pant at the conference and was also Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, organised a series of Primary Science workshops at Nsukka. In 1964 Fafunwa obtained Ford Foundation aid to launch an Elementary Science Project. He also obtained the services of Mike Savage who has worked on the "Elementary Science Study" (ESS) at the E.S.I in the USA. For 18 months, Savage tried out ideas and materials on elementary science in the rural environment of Awo-Ommama. The experiences of Fafunwa and Savage at Nsukka formed a significant input into a planning meeting in Rome in September 1964 and a subsequent bigger conference in Kano in 1965 where the African Primary Science Programme (APSP) was launched. Again several Nigerian educators played leading roles in APSP and its eventual successor Science Education Programme for Africa (SEPA). Among these were Babs Fafunwa, Bede Okigbo, Akin Osiyale, Rufus Alabi, O.C. Nwana, Romanus Ohuche, E.A. Yoloye, Rex Agiobu-Kemmer, Ade Sofolahan and Ben Nwosu. APSP/SEPA introduced inquiry science into Nigerian schools under the leadership of these people.

There were other external inputs that sustained the fresh impetus in science education in the sixties. Teams came from the USA and Britain to run institutes on the new approaches to secondary school science in those countries such as CBA Chemistry, PSSC Physics, SMSG Mathematics, from the USA and Nuffield Chemistry Physics and Biology from Britain.

There were also local initiatives such as the Northern Region Primary Science Programme (a component of the Primary Educa-tion Improvement Programme (PEIP) based in ABU. The Mid-West Primary Science Programme, The Nigerian Primary Science Project based in the University of Ife, and various efforts by the Nigerian Educational Research Council, CESAC and the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN).

THE STATE OF STM EDUCATION IN NIGERIA TODAY

Let us start on a positive note by itemising the good things about STM education in Nigeria today.
1. The Federal Government has put in place several structures and infrastructures which have great potential of further-ing STM education as recorded in Maduemezia, Okonkwo and Okon (1995). These include:
(i) A virile Federal Ministry of Science and Technology which has overall responsibility for policy formula-tion and management of Science and Technology in the Country.

(ii) 18 scientific and technological research institutes otherwise known as parastatals under the Ministry of Science and Tech-nology. Their names and functions are as listed in Appendix 1.

(iii) Three other agencies (two located in the Presi-dency and the third in the Federal Ministry of Education) have specialised responsi-bilities for STM education.
(a) the Energy Commission of Nigeria - Lagos,
(b) the Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHES-TCO) - Abuja
(c) the National Mathematical Centre (NMC) - Abuja.

(iv) The Nigerian Educational Research and Develop-ment Council (NERDC) which is charged with Curriculum develop-ment and Book Development in STM at pri-mary and secondary level among other responsibil-ities.

(v) Thirty-six Universities and Polytechnics, and sixty--one Col-leges of Education provide STM education at tertiary level.

2. Four very virile professional associ-ations exist which active-ly promote STM education in the country. These are:
(i) The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), the apex scientific organisation.
(ii) The Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN)
(iii) The Science Association of Nigeria (SAN)
(iv) The Mathemat-ical Association of Nigeria (MAN)


STAN and MAN are contributing outstandingly at secondary and primary levels while NAS and SAN operate more at tertiary level.

On the negative side:
1. The economic recession which has been on for nearly two decades has taken tremendous toll on education in general and STM education in particular. Many institu-tional labora-tories (tertiary and secondary) are in dilapi-dated states. They are underequipped and the majority of available equipment are either obsolete or unserviceable.
2. Many books in use are out of date and there is a dearth of up-to-date journals in most tertiary institution libraries.
3. Scholars especially at tertiary level suffer a curious isolation from their counterparts in more developed coun-tries because of lack of funds to attend scientific con-ferences.
4. There is massive brain drain of some of the most capable teachers in STM especially at tertiary level.
5. For those teachers who remain in the country, morale is at a very low ebb because of unfavourable working condi-tions.
6. As a result of these factors, the quality of instruction in science in particular has gone down sharply. Recently I was shocked when I was impressing upon some second-ary school chemistry teachers the need to use distilled water for volumetric and qualitative analyses. I was met with a laughter of derision as being out of date. "Where is a school to get distilled water from?" They asked, "You just make do with ordinary water. In any case in the school certificate examination, as long as the students get whatever the teachers get, there is no problem even if the precipitate is brown instead of white." That is modern chemistry Nigerian style.

Some Disturbing Features of the Nigerian Society Today

Yoloye (1982) highlighted certain disturbing characteristics of the Nigerian society whose amelioration science education could contribute to. Those characteristics are still very much with us. If anything some have become worse. Five such charac-teristics were discussed.
1. Much of Nigeria's development in the direction of modernisation has been haphazard leading to a lot of wast-age of resources and acquisition of obsolete technology.
2. Many of the so-called modern amenities fail to function - electricity, water, telephone.
3. There is a marked decline in productivity at all levels. Rather people fall easy preys to self-acclaimed mir-acle workers and wonder banks.
4. Much of our daily life is marked by a peculiar lack of order. Some key people prefer to maintain the disorder-liness because it provides fertile ground for graft and corruption.
5. Social values have become distorted such that cor-nerstones of positive development such as integrity, industry, honesty and loyalty etc. are becoming increasingly rare com-modities. This malaise is perhaps the most frightening of all. Many people may remember the following extract from the Guard-ian Vol. 13, No. 6,778 of June 2 1997. (real names are with-held.)

"Teacher Sacked for Preventing Fraud"

A teacher who disallowed his pupils from cheating in a senior school certificate examination (SSCE) was sacked by the gov-ernment of ABC state, it was learnt at the week-end. Mr. RED, a West African Examinations Council (WAEC) supervisor in his school GCJ got the boot because the Government viewed his actions as unpatriotic. Have you ever heard a more distorted interpretation of patriotism? The expression "Nigerian Factor" has come to mean a set of distorted values which unfortunately are taken as normal in Nigeria, whereas they would be disgust-ing abberations in a decent society.

TOWARDS THE 21ST CENTURY

To be honest, if I were to make projections from present trends. I would say that the chances are high that present trends are likely to continue into the 21st century and prob-ably get much worse. However, I do not think I was invited here to do an extrapolation job. What I believe this audience would like to hear is my Vision 2, 000 plus of what Science, Technology and Mathematics education should be like in the 21st century. In expounding this vision, I would make four proposals.
1. The early part of the 21st century should be a period of consolidation rather than expansion in terms of structures for STM education.
2. There should be marked improv-ement in STM teaching.
3. Science, Technology and Society as an innovative curricu-lum should be introduced into STM education.
4. Science for all as curriculum content should be introduced into STM education.

Let us now consider each propo-sal in more detail.

1. Consolidation
1979 marked the beginning of the second repub-lic. It also marked the beginning of very rapid expansion in the provision of educational institutions especially at sec-ondary and tertiary levels. This was partly because of the introduction of UPE in 1976 and partly because of the educa-tional policies of the parties in power. Yoloye (1989) in a national survey of resources for Science, Mathematics and Technical education in Nigerian secondary schools found that between 1983 and 1985, 64.3% of the schools were between 1-5 years of age, 15.2% were between 6-10 years of age, 5.2% were between 11-15 years, 4.9% were between 16-20 years, while 10.5% were over 20 years of age. The tremen-dous increase between 1979 and 1985 (64.2%) gives a clear picture of the rapid expansion. Such rapid expansion had inevitable consequences for availability of funds, laboratories, equipment, apparatus, and chemicals. For example the following findings were made.
(i) In the best schools, which constitute less than 5% of the total, (Best being defined as those where finan-cial provi-sion for science is over=N= 2,000 per annum) the average unit allocation per student ranged from=N= 1.60 to=N= 3.70 per student. For the majority of schools, unit allocation ranged between 0.0k and 0.60k.
(ii) Of the 19 states surveyed, the number of states in which at least 60% of the schools made no financial provi-sion at all for science were as follows: Science - 11 states Mathematics - 17 states Technical Subjects - 18 states.
(iii) The mean number of laboratories per school was 0.5 for each of physics, chemistry and biology.
(iv) A high proportion of available equipment in the schools were in bad condition; the situation being worst in Physics followed by Chemistry and least in Biology.
(v) There was a curious imbalance in the supply of equipment; some items being oversupplied while many were undersupplied.
(vi) Only 16% of the schools had equipped Mathematics rooms.
(vii) Only 3% of the schools had woodwork workshops and 0.5% had Metal-work workshops.

Because of economic recession in the last decade, the situ-ation in the schools has not shown much improvement even today.
One objective of STM education in the 21st century should therefore be to rectify the situation in these schools and hold further expansion in abeyance.
There was a similar expansion in the universities. A unique phenomenon was the emergence of private universities. We would remember the celebrated case of Dr. Basil Ukaegbu versus Imo State Government when he established the Imo Technical Univer-sity in Owerri. The Supreme court ruled in his favour. Oladapo (1988) records that within 6 months of that Supreme Court ruling, 26 private universities were established or proposed in Nigeria. They went by various esoteric names; but my favourite was one which was called `God's University' in Umuezema Ojoto Anambra State, with campuses all over the world.

The Military Government abolished them all in 1983, but Gov-ernment sponsored universities continued to increase. It rose from 13 in 1979 to 20 in 1983 and 36 as of 1996. The seven additions during the second republic were all state univer-sities.

The expansion has had similar repercussions on STM education in the system as it had on STM education in secondary schools. Ajayi (1994) proposed a 5-year emergency period for the country's education during which "we concen-trate on a rescue operation while planning reform for a middle range and longer term perspective". Expectedly his proposal was not taken up by Government; but that does not reduce the validity of the proposal. So on this occasion I would like to repeat the proposal. Perhaps Vision 2010 would act on it. We need at least 5 years to consolidate what we have on the ground while we plan how to move forward. I do not favour reduction in the number of institutions. I believe that with the appro-priate political will, we can make what we have on the ground viable while we halt further expansion until consolidation is complete. Ajayi suggested three key points in the consolidation process, which I agree with, namely;
(i) Funding,
(ii) Putting in place mechanisms for reestablishing standards and quality control and
(iii) reviewing policies which encourage undue political interference with our educational institu-tions.
I expect the consolidation process to also cover our 18 research institutes and the three specialised agencies - The Energy Commission of Nigeria, the National Mathematical Centre and the Sheda Science and Technology Complex. As of now, they exert little or no influence on STM education in the country, function-ing, as they do, as arms of the civil service.

Improving the Quality of STM Teaching
The I960s' drive for inquiry based learning in the Sciences is still very valid today even though a variant called Constructivism has also come on the scene. Constructivism is not as new as many adherents believe. APSP of the 60s and its successor SEPA of the 70s already implemented many constructivist practices. The real problems is that in practice we often merely mouth the cliches without implementing them in the class rooms. We need to make a more determined effort to introduce these instructional approaches. I believe we can also combat some of the negative tendencies in our society through STM education.
1. Yoloye (1983) proposed a four-fold set of educa-tional objectives as an expansion of the three usually derived from a contraction of Bloom's taxonomy. They are:
(i) Remembering
(ii) Understanding
(iii) Thinking
(iv) Producing

Producing is the addition to the original three categories.
In terms of learning procedure, he also proposed the following four derived from the inquiry approach to STM instruction.
(i) Learning from discovery
(ii) Learning by discovery
(iii) Learning to discover
(iv) Learning to pro-duce.
The essence of the fourth element in each case is to combat one of the maladies identified in our society: namely, "declining productivity".
2. The management attributes of planning, orderliness and maintenance are inescapable attributes of the scien-tist. These attributes should become overt objectives of Science, Technology and Mathematics educa-tion and should be deliber-ately taught.
3. The values of integrity, industry and honesty are values on which science thrives. That is why experimental procedures can be replicated from one country to the other. Again these values should become overt objectives of STM educa-tion.

In the past, we have tended to regard Science, Technology and Mathematics as merely providing technical knowledge and expertise while looking to the humanities and social sciences to provide humanising attributes to the individual. The mess-age I bring is that Science, Technology and Mathematics have in-built the capacity to also impart these humanising attributes and they should be deliberately made to perform this role to reinforce whatever the humanities and the social sciences might be doing.

Introducing Science, Technology and Society (STS) into the Curriculum
The world is already moving in this direction. We cannot afford to be left behind. As for what the content of such curriculum should be, I propose the sub-themes of the first National Congress of Science and Technology organised by the Science and Technology Congress Council in 1988 at the Uni-versity of Ibadan. The Congress Council was made up of the various scientific associations in the country headed by the Nigerian Academy of Science, with the Science Association of Nigeria heading the planning. The theme was "Science and Technology: The cornerstone for National Development". The sub-themes were:
1. Strategies for achieving health for all
2. Strategies for achieving food self sufficiency
3. Strat-egies for infrastructural development
4. Educa-tion for sound science and technology base
5. Elec-tronics, Com-puter Technology and Informatics
6. Industry and industrialisation
7. Self employ-ment through local Tech-nology.

A curriculum around these themes can be worked out at differ-ent levels for secondary and tertiary institutions.

Science for All

I would like to deal with the topic "Science for all" at two levels. In the first place, there is the issue of equity i.e. ensuring equal access to STM for various groups of society. In the second place, we need to provide scientific literacy for the masses. It is in this second sense that the term is usually used and so more time will be devoted to this aspect.

The Gender Issue
With respect to equity, I will refer to only the gender equity because over the centuries, women have not had adequate access to STM education. Much of this imbalance is rooted in history. As far back as the sixteenth century when modern science emerged, there was a general though erron-eous belief that women were ruled by emotions while men were ruled by reason. Since science depended largely an logical reasoning and a general belief that natural phenomena had rational explana-tions, women were regarded as naturally unsuited to the study of science.

In the past two decades, deliberate effort has been made in various parts of the world to bring women into the mainstream of science and technology. Nigeria to some extent has been part of this effort but needs to do a lot more. Strategies that have been tried in various parts of the world to rectify the gender imbalance in STM include the following:


1. Introduction of legislation to promote equality of oppor-tunities for male and female in STM education and career.
2. Support for special training to facilitate the entry of females into Science and Technology careers.
3. Change from predominantly single sex to mixed - sex schools.
4. Organisation of mobilisation and enlightenment pro-grammes for women.
5. Policy of making mathematics and at least one science subject compul-sory in secondary schools.
6. Modification of STM curricula to,make them non-sexist.
7. Organisation of training programmes for women workers in non-technology fields to cross over into technology related jobs.

Science for All Including the Masses
Here I present almost verbatim an extract from a lecture which I gave to the Ogun State Public Service Forum in 1991 on the topic of "Science for All".

When we advocate science for all, what kind of science are we proposing and what kind of scientist are we planning to make everybody? Obviously we do not expect everybody to be scien-tists of the calibre of Rutherford or Einstein or Newton. We cannot expect everybody to make science their lives' occupa-tion. However the knowledge of some scientific facts and principles could contribute tremendously to the improvement of the quality of life of every individual. For example knowledge of
(i) the germ theory of disease,
(ii) the sources and causes of rainfall,
(iii) the interdepen-dence of man and the environment,
(iv) the reproductive principles and processes in human beings etc.

Important as such knowledge may be, it is more important that an individual should know, understand and practice the methods in their daily interaction with nature and natural phenomena and the products of science and technology. Fundamental to the methods of seeking knowledge adopted by science, are certain assumptions and attitudes indispensable to the entire process of scientific inquiry. It is my belief that these assumptions, attitudes and skills can be taught to and inculcated in everybody without necessarily knowing a lot of scientific facts.
In summary, I would prescribe four major components of science for everybody as follows.

1. The Assumptions of Science
2. The Attitudes of Science
3. The basic skills of scientific inquiry
4. The knowledge of some pervasive concepts and prin-ciples dis-covered by science.



Let us now take a look at each component in turn.

(I) The Assumptions of Science
1. The most fundamental assumption of science is that there is order in nature. Natu-ral events occur according to certain rules or laws; not just at random.
2. It is possible through scientific inquiry to dis-cover the order, the rules and the laws of nature leading to an under-standing of natural phenom-ena.
3. Man can through a knowl-edge of the laws of nature explain all natural phenomena and manipulate natural phenomena such that it serves to improve the quality of life of man.

(II) The Attitudes of Science
1. Honesty and integrity: The essence of any scien-tific inquiry is that it should be reproducible. Such reproducib-ility depends on the honesty of the experi-menter as well as the accuracy of his or her records. Knowledge grows through honest information
2. Flexibility: This implies the ability to keep an open mind on issues, the willingness to suspend judgement until all the evidence is in; the willing-ness to change beliefs on the basis of valid new evidence, the realisation that there may be more than one method to tackle a problem; and the realisation that there may be more than one valid solution to the same problem.
3. Confidence in one's ability to find out: This presumes a willingness to admit ignorance but also a belief that there are ways of dispelling the ignorance and it is within one's power to discover these ways.
4. Interest in further exploration of nature on one's own initiative. This implies the meeting of new challenges which in turn leads to a broadening of knowledge
5. Persistence i.e. a readiness to pursue a problem until a solution is found.
6. Adventurousness: The willingness to take a chance on a new haunch and follow new lines of inquiry and experi-menta-tion to discover new knowledge.

(III) The Skills of Science

Various scientists have tried to formulate concisely the components of the scientific method. There have been various controversies as to what these components are. I offer here a list of skills which was pre-pared by the science curriculum group of the Nigerian Educational Research Council (NERC) at its 1970 workshop.
1. Observing
2. Classifying
3. Communicat-ing
4. Counting
5. Measuring
6. Raising Questions
7. Predicting
8. Inferring
9. Formulat-ing hypotheses
10. Making operational defini-tions
11. Controlling or manipulating variables
12. Experiment-ing
13. Formulating models
14. Inter-preting data
15. Manipulating equipment.

These fifteen skills are a modification of the thirteen pro-posed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Time would not permit a full explanation of each skill. Suffice it to say that training in these skills would certainly aid the scientific method. They also approxi-mate the order in which they are often used in scientific investigations.

(IV) Knowledge of Some Pervasive Concepts and Principles of Science
We had earlier four examples of some scientific facts and principles which have wide implications for everyday living which everybody can know. Obviously the complexity and sophistication of scientific knowledge that can be taught to any individual will vary with the amount of education, par-ticularly scientific education that an individual has had in the formal or non-formal education system. When we advocate scientific literacy for all therefore, it will have to be at various levels of sophistica-tion. It is however possible to work out a graded programme of scientific knowledge so that everybody would benefit at his or her own level.
In summary, science for all should aim at producing scientists not in the sense of people whose life occupation is science but in the sense of people who while living by other occupa-tions have an understanding of science and its interaction with daily life, behave in scientific ways in their approach to solution of problems, have the requisite scientific atti-tudes and skills to promote improvement in their quality of life.
Implementing scientific literacy for all implies that indigen-ous languages will have to be used for imparting scientific informa-tion. I am aware that a number of distinguished scien-tists and mathematicians in this country have stoutly opposed the teaching of science and mathematics in Nigerian languages, holding that such a thing is impossible because these lan-guages do not have words and expressions equivalent to the scientific terminologies. I fear that these people themselves may have been too steeped in the facts of science and mathe-matics without imbibing the true philosophy of science and may thus have an imperfect understand-ing of science. They speak as if particular labels are inherent properties of the scientific concepts and forget that labels are normally only given after the concepts are defined and under-stood. The truth is that concepts precede the terminologies that label them and there-fore can be understood independent of the technical labels. Besides, the Ife six-year Primary Education Project has shown convincingly that science and mathematics can be taught effec-tively in the Yoruba language (Fafunwa et al. 1989).

Vigotsky, a Russian psychologist tells the following story which illustrates the point.

"A peasant listened to two students of astronomy talking about the stars. Finally the peasant said: `I can see that with the help of instruments, men could measure the distance from the earth to the remotest stars and find their position and motion. But what puzzles me is: How in the devil did you find out the names of the stars?"

Perhaps if the peasant had been exposed to a programme of science for all such as we are advocating he would have known that the names are not innate properties of the stars but simply labels given by the men who first discovered them.
Similarly, many Nigerians, both illiterate and literate, on coming face to face with some wonders of science and technol-ogy exclaim "Oyinbo!" i.e. "White man!". They see the feats of science as innate preserves of the white man. I would claim that science for all should educate every person to a stage where he or she realises that the methods of science; the discoveries of science; the terminologies resulting from science, are not the exclusive preserves of a particular race or group of people but are within the reach of everybody.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I cannot claim to have given you a fool-proof recipe for STM education in the 21st Century. Indeed it would be unscientific and preposterous to make such a claim. I however hope that this presentation has furthered your understanding and appreciation of STM education globally and in Nigeria. I hope the ideas put forward will form valuable input into future STM policies which Government and scientists may choose to formulate for the 21st Century.
I wish to thank the organisers of this lecture for giving me the honour of giving this year's Fafunwa Educational Foundation lecture. It is an honour which I deeply appreciate. On a personal level, association with Professor Babs Fafunwa and his projects is always a pleasure for me. He will go down in history as one who gave genuine and fundamental inspiration to the development of education in this country. I am happy to be part of the effort.

I thank you all for your attention.

REFERENCES

1. Ajayi, J.A. 1994: "The National System of Educa-tion: The Challenges of Today" in O. O. Akinkugbe 1994; Nigeria and Education: The Challenges Ahead. The Second Obafemi Awolowo Foundation Dialogue. Ibadan, Spectrum Books, pp. 9-13.

2. Educational Development Centre 1967: A Report of an African Education Program. Newton Mass., E.D.C.

3. The Guardian Vol 13, No. 6,778 June 2. 1997.

4. Gruber, R. 1961: Science and the New Nations. New York, Pyramid Books.

5. Lauwerys, J.A. 1957: "Scientific Humanism" in Judges A.V. (ed.) 1957, Education and the Philosophic Mind. London, George G. Harrap.

6. Maduemezia, A., Okonkwo, S.N.C. and Okon, E.E. (eds) 1995: Science Today in Nigeria. Lagos, Nigerian Academy of Science.

7. Oladapo, I.O. 1988: "The Emergence of State and Private Universities" in Kadiri A.U. (ed) 1988, 25 Years of Centralised University Education in Nigeria. Lagos, N.U.C.

8. Rembser, J. 1996: "Comparison of Research Systems: Germany and other Western Industrial Countries". B. & W. Educa-tion and Science, 4/1996, pp. 6-10.

9. UNESCO 1961: Conference of African States on the Develop-ment of Education in Africa. Addis Ababa 15-23 May 1961. Paris, UNESCO.

10. Yoloye, E.A. 1982: "Science Education in the Nigerian Primary Schools: A Need for Radical Approach". Keynote Address at STAN 23rd Annual Conference. STAN Conference Proceedings, pp. 11-17.

11. Yoloye, E.A. (ed) 1989: Resources for Science, Mathematics and Technical Education in Nigerian Secondary Schools A National Survey. A Report submitted to the Ministry of Science and Technology Lagos.

12. Yoloye, E.A. 1991: Science for All: When? A lecture delivered to the Ogun State Public Service Forum. May 16 1991.

Appendix I
Research Institutes/Parastatals under FMST
No. Institute Functions Director
1. Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FWO), Oshodi, Lagos. PMB 21023, Ikeja Research and development in the area of food pro-cessing, agro-allied prod-ucts, textiles, pulp and paper design, and fabrica-tion of proto-types, micro-electronics and infor-mation services. Prof. A.O. Od-unfa
2 Nigeria Institute for Trypanosomiasis Research (NITR), PMB 2077, Kaduna. Research into tsetse and Simulium flies and on the control of Onchocerciasis and Trypanosomiasis Dr. I. Halid

3 Nigerian Stored Products Institute (NSPRI), PMB 148, Ilorin. Research into storage and preserva-tion systems for agricul-tural pro-duc-e. Mr. S.O. Agboola

4 Project Development Institute (PROD-A) PMB 609, Enugu. Research into engineering design and fabrica-tion of ceramic products, electrical and electronic products, energy, including coal, and scien-tific equipment. Engr. L.K. Nwosu

5 Raw Materials Research and Develop-ment Council (RMRDC), 28, Beckley Street, Lagos. Supports and expedites industrial development and self-reliance through the maximum utilisation of local raw materials as inputs for Nigerian industries. Dr. A. Aliyu

6 National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), PMB 5382, Moor Plantation, Ibadan. Husbanding of plant and animal genetic resources. Develop-mental research in genetic engineering and biotechnology.
Project Manager

7 National Institute for Chemical Tech-nology (Formerly Leather Research Institute of Nigeria), PMB 1096, Zaria. Research into hides, skins, leather, leather products, indus-trial chemi-cal, polymers and plastics. Dr. A.S. Mshelbwalla

8 National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), 6, Edmond Crescent, PMB 2013 Yaba-Lagos. Medical; research into communi-cable diseases, e.g., malaria, human parasites etc., nutritional defect problems, genetic noncommunicable diseases, public health, etc. Prof. S.A. Salako., F.A.S
9 National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research & Development (NIPRD) P.M.B. 21, Abuja. Research into medicinal plants, herbs and drug development and formulary. Prof. O.C.N.Wam-bebe
10 National Office for Technological Acquisition and Promo-tion (NOTAP), 109, Western Ave., Lagos Vetting, registering and monitoring technology transfer agree-ments. Mr. F.J. Okono
11 Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), 15, Awolowo Rd, Ikoyi, P.M.B. 125668 Lagos Research into use of local materials and methods in road and building construction. Dr. A.C. Madcdor
12 National Agency for Science and Engi-neering Infrastruc-ture (NASENI), 9, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, P.M.B. 12793, Lagos. Planning for research and develop-ment and establishment of engineer-ing and scientific infrastructure devel-opment complexes.
Prof. Gordian O.
Ezekwe, F.A.S.
(Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive)
13 College of Chemical and Leather Tech-nological (CHELTECH) PMB 1052, Samaru, Zaria Training and development of middle level man-power in leather and chemical technology.
Mr. B.B. Dashe.

14 Centre for Adaptation of Technology (CAT), 16, Igweze Street, PMB 5099, Awka. Research development and adapta-tion of foreign technology to suit local environment and demands. Prof. M.O. Chijioke, F.A.S. (Chief Execu-tive)

15 Scientific Equipment Development Institute (SEDI), Box 3205, Enugu. Research, development and produc-tion of scientific equipment and accessories. Mr. I.I. Nnadi

16 Scientific Equipment Development Institute (SEDI) PMB 37, Tagwai Dam Road, Chanchaga Minna Research, development and produc-tion of scientific equipment and accessories. Engr. M.N. Mahmood

17 Hydraulic Equipment Research Institute (HERI), Kano. Research development and produc-tion of hydraulic and related equipment.
18 Technology Business Incubator Centres (TBI), 6, Balogun Street, opp. Pen Cinema, Agege Lagos;
AND (TBI) ABA. To nurture the start up and growth of new businesses engaged in value-- added and technology-related manufacturing activities. Mr. A. Shittu.