Interswitch Limited, an integrated digital payment, and commerce company, who is pursuing an ambitious but achievable goal to grow the standard of STEM education in Africa, has partnered Slum2School, a leading volunteer driven community development organization in Africa to build a STEM and Innovation Lab in the Makoko area of Yaba. Lagos State.
The ‘Slum2School STEM and innovation lab, Powered by Interswitch, seeks to build skills and talents base around STEM. But most importantly, choosing to set this up in Makoko, a community of over a hundred thousand people, where access to such opportunities are unavailable, sends a clear message that reminds us all, that talent abounds everywhere and every child irrespective of their socio-economic class should have access to qualitative education and have opportunities to develop their talents and aspirations
Speaking at the commissioning of the STEM and Innovation Lab, on Thursday May 17th, In Makoko, the Group Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Interswitch Group, Cherry Eromosele said “we are faced with a reality that requires us to take deliberate efforts to improve STEM education in Africa, if we are to solve the challenges that we face as a society. The development and transformation of any society today is largely dependent on a relevant skilled workforce and innovation, two factors that require strong STEM knowledge and application”.
Mitchell further explained that “STEM help students learn things like critical thinking and problem solving, so they can be the next generation of leaders and innovators. And at Interswitch, we want everyone to have that opportunity. That is why we are rolling out initiatives at different levels in the country that support and promote STEM education in Africa, from the InterswitchSPAK national science competition, to working with Slum2School to build STEM and Innovation labs across Africa, that will ignite, increase, and reward interest in STEM education.
Otto Orondaam, the founder of Slum2School, an organization that has provided scholarships and various learning centers to over 1000 children from the Makoko community and is committed to providing access to quality education and psycho-social support for disadvantaged children in slums and remote communities lauded Interswitch for trusting and partnering with Slum2School to deliver this standard of facility in a community that has so much to offer in terms of talents. He also lauded the Lagos State Education Board for creating an enabling environment for partnerships like this to be fostered. Orondaam added that “Working with thousands of children from this community over the past 6 years, we have seen some of the brightest minds you could imagine and we know that the facility will enhance learning for every child who engages with it not just from Makoko but across Lagos state.”
“Interswitch and Slum2School are on the right track to ensuring access to updated and relevant knowledge is provided for every child; we believe that this will be the first of many more STEM and Innovation Labs for children living across underdeveloped communities across Africa.” He concluded.
In an interactive session with the stakeholders’ present, the students from various Secondary Schools Around Makoko and Lagos mainland Who are beneficiaries of Slum2School Scholarship program, thanked Interswitch and Slum2School for building the facility in their community.
In the words of ‘Miss Deborah Honsugan“ an SS1 student at Birrel Senior High School, “this is beyond an educational facility for us, it is also a physical symbol of hope to us that we can dream big, and now we have an opportunity to work on our dreams, and maybe one day we too can give back as you have given to us”.
Interswitch is an Africa-focused integrated digital payments and commerce company that facilitates the electronic circulation of money as well as the exchange of value between individuals and organizations on a timely and consistent basis.
Slum-2-School (S2S) is a volunteer driven developmental NGO that is focused on improving access to quality education for children who live in hard-to-reach communities and slums across Africa.
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