CU Encourages Female Youths to Embrace Careers in the Sciences
The Covenant University chapter of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) has launched an initiative to encourage the engagement of female youths in careers in the sciences. The event, which took place at the conference hall of the university’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Development Studies (CEDS), was attended by students from five secondary schools in Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.
In her opening remarks at the event, Professor Nandita Dee, of the Biological Sciences Department, who represented the Management, welcomed the students and expressed the excitement of the CU Management about the event. She encouraged the students to make use of all the advice and insights received as a catalyst to their future progress in their respective individual educational dreams and goals.
In his remarks, the Head of Department, Biological Sciences, Professor Adesola Ajayi; represented by Dr. Yemi Ayepola, appreciated the participants from various schools and enjoined them to strive for excellence in their future careers, so as to contribute to national development.
While making her presentation, the coordinator of the event, Dr. Angela Eni, who is also a senior faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences, stated that science and technology is the practical application of systemically and experimentally acquired knowledge for the good of mankind.
She enlightened the students on how much science and technology has drastically increased the knowledge of the universe; opened up fascinating and improved ways of diagnosing and treating illnesses; ushered in the computer age, which has made our world a global village; and given us power to manipulate all forms of lives, including plants and animals, for the benefit of mankind.
Dr. Eni expressed the need for women to be more involved in the sciences. According to her, “Larger number of women study sciences in secondary schools than in the University. Fewer female science graduates get to the top of their careers as senior scientists compared to their male counterparts, and worse still, the number dwindles even more for black women in science.”
Speaking on the factors that affect the participation of females in science and technology education in Nigeria, Eni highlighted the ‘Socialization Process’ as the strongest; stating that it is a process by which a child learns to respond to socially approved values in the society through the guidance of adults.
“While boys are encouraged to be assertive and challenge their mental powers, girls are protected and discouraged from explorative and risky activities. Boys become independent, initiative and assertive, while girls become dependent, submissive and complacent. These personality characteristics affect the attitude of girls towards science and technology education, as they believe they are inferior to boys physically and mentally,” she said.
Eni called for more involvement of women in the sciences, stating, “More women are needed in research to increase the range of inventions and breakthroughs that come from looking at problems differently than men typically do.”
“You can be whatever and whoever you want to be and contribute to national development,” she told the youngsters.
Also present at the event were some members of the Department of Biological Sciences and the WAVE research project.