The second phase of introducing basic biotechnology teaching in senior high schools in sub-Saharan Africa has taken off at the Crops Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-CRI), in Kumasi.
Teachers from 14 schools are attending the four-day training aimed at developing a teaching model for the senior high school teachers, providing basic teaching resources to sustain the teaching of biotechnology and raising student interest in modern biotechnology and genetic modified food(GM).
The first phase of the project was rolled out in November 2013, also for 14 schools;
And, according to the Ashanti Regional Director of Education, Mrs. Mary Owusu, it helped to improve the competencies of the beneficiary teachers in handling some topics in science as well as mastery of the subjects as exhibited by students during the biotechnology quiz.
At the opening ceremony on Wednesday, she noted that the type of education given to children in Ghana is dictated by the social, political, economic and technological scenarios of a given period.
She said since the society is not static the country’s educational system has gone through many challenges to make it more responsive to current challenges.
The educational director pointed out that the adoption of science and technology education as the basis for achieving sustainable development and creation of science-literate community in Ghana must be accorded paramount importance.
“the difference between developed and developing country does not depend on the color of skin but on the ability to translate scientific knowledge into scientific skills to address challenges in the environment and society, and this can be achieved through provision of enabling conditions and programs that ensure effective teaching and learning of science and technology in schools”, she stated.
In an effort to provide the needed support, she said government has supplied and installed science equipment and chemicals to 34 schools in the Ashanti Region and 20 more schools have been earmarked to benefit from the project.
Stressing the need to appreciate strategies in teaching and learning which are crucial in translating the school curriculum into classroom and out of school practice, she said “the type of learning experiences that are provided that can best achieve curriculum objective needs to be carefully thought of by the teacher and in science education, the importance of discovery and stimulating situations among students are imperative”.
Dr Stella Ama Ennin, director of CRI called for the inclusion of biotechnology and GMOs in the curriculums of the schools in the country saying it was long overdue.
She observed that there had been many misconceptions about the GMOs and the inclusion of biotechnology in the schools curriculum would go a long way to help the teachers in effectively handling the topic to do away with such misconceptions.
From Kingsley E. Hope, Kumasi