In June 2017, Nigeria’s Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, reportedly said plans were being made to teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in indigenous languages.
There was an opinion as to why this was not a good idea. Even though this opinion had its own strong points, maybe there is more to consider.
Considering the low level of adoption of STEM subjects and career paths in Nigeria, teaching them in indigenous languages may not be a bad idea after all.
Even before the government made this announcement, a mathematics teacher in the Port Harcourt, Rivers State had already adopted the local language medium. Cynthia Onwuchuruba Bryte-Chinule has been teaching her students mathematics in Igbo and Nigerian pidgin for a while now.
Cynthia is a mathematics graduate of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Anambra State. She is the founder of PEEL Initiative, a non-profit organisation particularly interested in improving education in Africa especially mathematics and impacting the lives of underprivileged kids through education.
A correspondent of Techpoint.ng chatted with Cynthia and she shared insights on STEM adoption in Nigeria, mathematics as a feared subject, marriage and revamping education in Africa.