Female young Astronomer, Margaret posits that Astronomy education should be in schools curriculum
A young astronomer, Margaret Ikape, on Wednesday called for the inclusion of elementary astronomy studies in the curriculum of primary and secondary schools in the country to ignite interest toward studying the course.
Ikape, a Nigerian Doctorate degree astronomy student of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Canada said this in an interview with Supreme Magazine.
The Phd student spoke on the sidelines of the ongoing 4th West Africa International Summer School for Young Astronomers (WAISSYA), in Abuja.
WAISSYA is a programme that holds bi-annually for university science students and teachers to build their interest in astronomy and build a critical mass of astronomers in West Africa.
The young astronomer said that astronomy was an interesting course that raised speculations about the planet, space technology and also provided possible answers to the questions.
According to her, the course has the means of broadening the minds of young people and should be introduced early in their academic pursuit.
“As a country, we are doing well for sciences. It is getting more exposure but we still have a long way to go.
“This is because there are still people in high schools that run away from science subjects and if we can’t break in at that level, they won’t major in sciences.
“We need to start introducing sciences from the grassroots.
“Teachers that teach sciences need to present them in an exciting manner by breaking down the cumbersome equations and relating them with everyday occurrence of the students so they can be interested.
“Government should also try to introduce a bit of astronomy in the curriculum, at least in primary schools.
“A pupil should know the solar system, the sun, the eight planets, while in secondary schools, they should learn more about the universe so that interest is ignited early,” Ikape said.
She also called on stakeholders to engage in more outreach to schools and as well build planetarium where students could visit, on excursion, to project images in space.
Supreme Magazine reports that 2019 WAISSYA is supported by the Centre for Basic Space Science (CBSS),an activity centre of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).
CBSS is sponsoring the programme as part of its capacity building projects of the year.
The summer school is a week long programme from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 for university science students and teachers to build their interest in astronomy.
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