For a moment, think about the last century, our world today, and then the world in which today’s children will live. In the last millennium, a significant number of important events were clearly related to technology and many of the most influential people were innovators and inventors. We now have the technological means to dramatically alter our future in unimaginable ways. The acceleration of technological change inspires and thrills some people, but confuses and even alienates others. Most of the Gambian population sadly falls into the later category.
Technologies will not solve all of the problems in the future and I submit will undoubtedly create some. We must learn to weigh the benefits and risks of technologies and make informed choices about our future. However, for a society deeply dependent upon technology, we are largely ignorant about technological concepts and processes, and we mostly ignore this discrepancy in our educational systems. The result is our citizens are neither comfortable with nor objective about technology, and are effectively disengaged from decisions that are helping to shape our future. This is a terrible disservice to our youth, the leaders of tomorrow. The need to achieve technological literacy is a national imperative. This awareness brings us to the question of how to educate a generation that can comprehend, cope with, and direct technology. This becomes the challenge that our schools must respond to if our youth are to compete in a globalize economy. A technologically literate person understands and appreciates the importance of fundamental technological developments and can better contribute to the global society. The need for literacy about this human effort, that is, the development and use of technical means, is the role of technology education.
And this is what AGECS aspires to instill in Gambian youth, the love for science and technology. If we get their interest at an early age, they will grow up to love, learn and inspire others. In the same vein we (AGECS) will try to influence educational policies towards this goal. To look at technology education classes as “elective” offerings means missed opportunities for children, and talents left unexplored as well. How many national leaders or creative geniuses are we losing?
If you are interested in the challenge of developing technologically literate citizens please join the Association of Gambians in Engineering and Computer Science. To learn more about the organization, please pay us a visit at: http://www.agecs.gm