Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday in Abuja received the Nigerian girls who won the World Technovation Challenge in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, U.S., in August.
The team, mentored by Uchenna Onwuamaegbu, defeated representatives of other countries including the U.S, Spain, Turkey, Uzbekistan and China to win the gold medal at the contest.
Technovation offers girls around the world opportunity to learn necessary skills to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders.
The pitch of the girls from Regina Pacis Secondary School, Onitsha, Anambra State at the contest was FD-Detector Application, which they developed to curb fake drugs.
The girls are Promise Nnalue, Nwabuaku Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo, Vivian Okoye, Jessica Osita and Miracle Igboke.
The victorious girls were accompanied by Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke, Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, and the Principal of the Regina Pacis Secondary School, Onitsha.
Osinbajo, while receiving the girls, said the Federal Government would be part of the success story and would be talking to the government of Anambra State about what could be done to support the project.
He said government would also collaborate with the Edufun Technik Stem Centre; whose Managing Director, Uchenna Onwuamaegbu, mentored the girls in developing the application.
The vice president said some of the areas of education that government was looking at were the pre-school and primary school that would take into cognizance technological development.
“In our new curriculum, what we are looking at is a variant of STEM.
“So we are looking at Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths, STEAM.
“We have already drawn up an indicative curriculum and of course the focus is technology because technology is the leveler and it will bridge not a few divides, not just the gender gap, but practically everything, including the knowledge gap between developing countries and developed countries.”
He said the Nigerian government was developing a system of code so that from pre-primary school young people could begin to learn the system of code writing.
“They can also begin to learn the development of applications.
“For us, this is existential. We have no choice but to ensure that young people, especially from pre-primary to primary school, are able to use technology in innovation and creative ways.
“The world has changed. The entire system of education has challenge because certainly, we cannot prepare not just for the 21st Century but even the next five years without serious investment in technology,” he said.
On his part, the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Nkem Okeke, said that the Anambra State government had continued to invest in education in view of its critical importance to development.
In her speech, Onwuamaegbu said the programme began in January this year and was aimed at bringing STEM education to all parts of Nigeria.
She said Technovation is a world event that introduces girls into coding and entrepreneurship.
Onwuamaegbu said the girls from the Regina Pacies School, Onitsha, were so hungry for knowledge.
Promise Nnalue, one of the gold medalists, said that the FD-Detector App, worked to detect fake, expired and counterfeit drugs.
According to her, the App also teaches about the six categories of drugs, their examples, the bad ones and the side effects.