The Federal Ministry of Education and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to consolidate on the Strengthening Mathematics and Science, SMASE, project being sponsored by JICA in Nigeria.
Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike signed on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education, while Satoru Takahashi, JICAMid-Term Review Mission Leader signed on behalf of JICA at a ceremony held at the Federal Ministry of Education yesterday.
Speaking after the signing formalities, Wike declared that the Federal Government was determined to drive the process of development through enhancing the quality of science and Mathematics education available to Nigerian children.
He said that the government was cooperating with the Japanese government to train Nigerian Science and Mathematics teachers in acceptable international standard of education delivery, pointing out that science and Mathematics form the bedrock of technological development of any nation.
Wike said: am personally involved in this National Steering Committee because of the importance that the Federal Government attaches to the improvement of Science and Mathematics education. We have prevailed on the Japanese government not to wind down the programme by 2013, so that the overall objectives of initiating the programme would not be defeated.
In his remarks, JICA Mid-Term Review Mission Team Leader, Satoru Takahashi expressed satisfaction with the commitment shown by the Minister of State for Education to the revival of the SMASE programme to benefit Nigerian students.
He said that JICA was considering reviewing its winding up date because of the renewed interest shown by the Federal Ministry of Education, States and other agencies of the Federal Government implementing the programme.
He said that the Japanese government was encouraged by the actions of the Minister of State for Education to ensure the success of the programme. Takhashi described the review meeting as frank and down-to-earth, saying that it was the first time since the programme started that the top echelon of the Federal Ministry of Education was providing the right leadership to ensure that the objectives of the programme were achieved.