Achieving Inclusive and Equitable Quality Chemistry Education in Nigeria: The Role of Science Laboratory Technologists
The yardstick for rating economies of the world today is on the basis of their technological strength or otherwise. Nations adjudged to be developed country or third world country or nation are rated on how entrenched the principles and practice of science and technology in their national lives. This forms the bedrock of industrialization and economic viability with a resultant robust Gross Domestic Product (GDP) leading to self-reliance and self-sufficiency in basic necessities of life. These feats are only possible if laboratory practices take centre stage of teaching and learning in our academic institutions where future industrialists cum technocrats are incubated, hatched and nurtured. Through laboratory practices or practical works, students acquire manipulative skills and technical orientation as practical encourages hands-on and minds-on exercises which help in the overall development of the psychomotor domain hence indispensable in a challenging economy like ours. The role of inculcating such qualities of acquisition of skills in learners forms the core mandate of the laboratory technologists in any research or academic setting. It is to this extent that the paper wishes to shed more light on the roles these group of individuals play in ensuring the technological advancement of any nation in order to stir and jolt the moral consciousness of government, policy makers as well as administrators with a view to reappraising some of the unhealthy conditions under which the technologists operate. It enumerates the stipulated minimum academic qualification, professional membership, computer literacy and teaching ability as some of the requisite qualities of a good technologist. It also enlists poor funding, wrong status and career progression peg out among others as challenges and went further suggests increased funding, career progression enhancement, review of conditions of service in tandem with world best practice and provision of favourable working environment as ways out of the woods.
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