The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology in Oyo State, Prof. Daud Sangodoyin, on Friday said the state will emerge as one of the top 10 leading states with best West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) results in year 2020.
Sangodoyin stated this while speaking with newsmen at the final of the Cell is Life inter-secondary schools biology quiz held at the Zoology Lecture Theater, University of Ibadan.
He also disclosed that the Makinde-led government has concluded plans to include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and STEP (Start Them Early Programme for Agriculture) in the Curriculum of secondary schools in the state for pupils to understand the principles behind science and technology and the principles behind agriculture.
“We have a strategic plan on competitions, sports recreation in our state and I believe that within the next few weeks, you will be seeing more of this quiz and essay competitions going on in our schools and as announced we are equally planning to have SDG clubs in all our schools to sensitise on the importance of Sustainable Development Goals
“We have intervention programmes in place. By the end of this month, we are going to start what we call essential classes for SS3 and it is going to be centered on Mathematics and English Language. We are actually going to distribute a compendium of of about 100 copies to both public and private secondary schools. The compendium is on 10 subjects for 10 years of WAEC and I believe with this and the extra coaching we are going to have for our students, our state by 2020 will be in the first 10 in Nigeria,” the Commissioner Stated.
While commending the organizers of the competition, Sangodoyin said quiz and essay competition increase the quality of education and also enhance the students capacity.
“When you talk in a quiz competition, you are actually showcasing the potential the Lord has given unto you. Besides it gives you what I can call the communication skills in disciplines you have chosen in the future,” he said.
In his speech, the convener of the quiz competition and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cell is life Initiative, Oluwafunmilayo Sodipo, said the major reason for organising the competition is to promote the interest in Biology subject amongst secondary school students.
She noted that schools and academic bodies are no longer paying attention to the subject and are beginning to replace it with less important subjects .
Sodipo stated that it is necessary for everybody to have a knowledge of Biology, adding that this was the reason her organization is clamouring that the subject be made compulsory in all secondary schools as it used to be.
She said: “Making Biology optional or not teaching it at all is like intentionally taking power away from somebody. If you don’t know the little relationship between you and your ecosystem, what are you going to pass to your children.
“In some developed countries, they don’t allow you to touch the animals anyhow because they know about the balance in nature. Some of these students are in commercial classes, they will go into banking and not do Biology at all. They are not going to know what is important to them and their environment.”
She added that the quiz is in its third edition, noting that the aim is to organise practical classes to help the schools with their practical classes and ensure that the Biology laboratories are being utilised.
Sodipo identified lack of funding and sponsorship as the major challenges confronting the organization of the quiz.
“Thank God for passion, knowing why we started and the good commendation from the schools is what is keeping us going. We hope to take it round the country,” she said.
At the end of the quiz competition, Osinela Ogiogwa of Oritamefa Baptist Model School, Total Garden emerged the overall winner; Esedebe Shekinah of Oritamefa Baptist Model College, Ring Road came second while Bayakly Aida of Rhema Chapel International School, Oluyole Estate came third.
Speaking to Newspeakonline, the winner of the quiz competition, Ogiogwa, said she was happy to be the winner of the competition, adding that It has helped her to be able to read more.
“Before I didn’t really like reading biology but when I discovered there was a competition on biology, I started reading , going online to check some articles and this helped me.
“A lot of people don’t like Biology especially in my school. They see it as a voluminous subject because the note is always much but that doesn’t mean it is not simple.”
She urged students to learn the subject in order to be able to apply it to themselves and know how their body kinetics work.
Also speaking, the Biology Teacher of the winning School, Oritamefa Baptist Model School, Mr. Yinka Awoleye stated that he was excited happy for the success of the competition.
“I am excited not just because my school won but because of the commitment of the organisers. I am happy that the project is becoming bigger and bigger, ” he said.
He said the competition has helped the students, saying “when a student participates in a competition like this, it exposes them to response under stress; how they respond positively under intense pressure.”
He urged government and private organisations to support the competition noting that the competition can go national and international with proper support.
The winner, the first runner up and the second runner up collected cash prizes of N50,000, N30,000 and N20,000 respectively. Their WAEC examination fee will also be paid.
Dignitaries at the event included the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals, Hon. Kunle Yusuf; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Better Education Delivery for All, Hon. Sunday Adeyanju; Chairman, Oyo State Road Transport Agency, Dr. Akin Fagbemi and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education Science and Technology, Arch. Bayo Balogun.