Professor Celestine Ntuen was disappointed to find the equivalent of an OND holder as Chief Engineering Supervisor for a major drainage work in Ibeno Beach, Akwa Ibom State. His inquiry revealed that the supervisor’s qualification for that job was being an American trained for two years in Civil Engineering Technology at a USA technical college. Could he have been that lucky if he were a Nigerian and holder of a polytechnic ordinary diploma? The professor said he was ashamed of his country at that moment because undiscerning reliance on foreign hands does not happen in advanced countries that believe in developing their intellectual capital. The scenario rekindled his passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.
Ntuen is Vice Chancellor of Ritman University in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State and Fellow of USA Institute of Industrial Engineers. He believes in STEM as bedrock for development, and an adaptive education that meets technological and economic needs of the nation. At every opportunity, he harps on an urgent need to re-engineer Nigeria’s educational system and organize it for productivity with STEM as indispensable ingredient. He frowns at a situation in which Science books written many years ago are still being used as school texts, while lecturers would rather force students to buy photocopied pages of expired books than break grounds with researches of their own. The scholar advocates that curricula, pedagogy methods and texts should change periodically to suit changes in our social and economic environment: this he calls Adaptive Education.