Sunday, July 8, 2012

Declining interest in sciences worries Nigerian varsity president


The Nigerian government’s directive that 60 per cent of admission spaces in its universities be reserved for prospective science students — and the remaining 40 per cent for Arts — may be a tall order after all, going by the realities on ground, especially at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka, which, on Friday, announced that it would be admitting 4,000 students this academic session.
The results of the screening test, otherwise known as post –Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UMTE), which was reportedly uploaded on the internet this weekend, show that of more than simple majority of the 52,000 prospective students that sat for the entrance examination, offered to study Arts-related courses, a development that raises concern for the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Boniface Egboka.
According to the Vice Chancellor, who regretted the dwindling interest in sciences, only about 76 offered to read Mathematics.  He, however, said only 4, 000 would be offered admission in the university based on the directives of the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Egboka urged government at all levels to create new incentives, including scholarships and bursaries, for students willing to read Applied Sciences in Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Universities
The Vice Chancellor also wants the FG to guarantee job opportunities for Science students on graduation, saying that such measures would gradually  engender increased interest in basic sciences.
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