From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna
Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau yesterday said Nigeria has approached Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for support in running the third cycle of the Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Education (SMASE) programme for teachers at the pre-service level,
The minister disclosed this at cycle two, fourth cohort of the SMASE training for teachers drawn from Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Imo and Yobe states held at National Teachers Institute NTI headquarters, Kaduna.
According to him, the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) is considering a proposal for the third cycle that would impart SMASE on the teachers during their training at the colleges of education.
It could be recalled that SMASE is a programme initiated by the National Teachers Institute (NTI) with the support of JICA to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics and science education in Nigeria through training and retraining of teachers using enhanced techniques and tools.
The Minister, who was represented by the SMASE National Coordinator, Mr Joseph Aguiyi Ironsi, said planning for the third cycle is in full swing at the national coordinating units meeting with the stakeholders to ensure the success of the programme.
“The third cycle of SMASE would introduce the programme to teachers at pre-service education level. NCCE is considering our proposal, while a proposal has been sent to JICA for consideration. Having gone through the primary school with success, the federal government has approved the content for the secondary school phase to be developed.
In his remarks, Director General of NTI, Dr Aminu Ladan Sharehu said NTI trained 413 teachers on SMASE and conducted seven cohorts of cycle one from all states and FCT except Lagos state.
He said SMASE training is progressing, succeeding and NTI is fully committed to the training and improvement of teachers’ education in the country.
“We have included computer training in SMASE inset training with a computer laboratory while we are on the verge of completing our science laboratory,” he said.