The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has suggested the inclusion of space education in the curriculum of Nigerian schools.
The Director, Centre for Basic Space Science (CBSS), Bonaventure Okere, suggested on Sunday in Abuja while commemorating World Space Day.
Mr Okere called on the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC) and the Federal Ministry of Education to include space education in the curriculum of Nigerian schools.
The World Space Week, established by the resolution of the UN General Assembly in December 1999, is celebrated between October 4 and 10 yearly.
The week is set aside to celebrate the contributions of space science and technology to the development of human conditions and for sustainable development.
World Space Week for this year is with the theme “Women in Space.”
The director expressed regret that the components of space education were lacking in the curricula of institutions of learning, which made people less aware of its importance to humanity.
According to him, there is space application in every aspect of human life, hence the need to make it part of studies in schools.
“At the time we studied astronomy in Nigeria, we didn’t have them; somebody had to introduce it.
“The responsibility is now on stakeholders, NUC and the Ministry of Education to know that it is high time we introduced space science and technology into schools’ curriculum.
“What we have in our secondary schools and primary schools is the basic science which is not too comprehensive.
“Some of the teachers teaching this subject are not even aware of what space science and technology means.
“Our Ministry of Education needs to make space education embedded in our curriculum,” he stated.
Mr Okere said that stakeholders in the education sector needed to be more enlightened on the importance of space education to encourage its inclusion in schools’ curriculum and increase the number of local institutions offering courses in space education.
He admitted that a few private schools offered space-related courses in the country.
According to him, they offer space courses more from the post-graduate level because of their short term cash returns.
He suggested that addressing the dearth in space programmes could include scholarship offers by the government, corporate organisations to students, especially women, to encourage them.
According to him, there is a need to look at the national interest and encourage space education in our schools.