A total of 400 Junior High Schools (JHSs) from 10 districts in the Central and Eastern regions are to benefit from Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) project, aim at training over 48,000 teachers and students in STEM programmes.
The $8 million project is funded by the Korean government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and implemented by the Ghana Education Service (GES).
The project, dubbed the “Promotion of Girls Competency in Mathematics and Science with Gender Responsive Pedagogy” is expected to increase women participation in STEM programmes in Senior High School (SHS) and tertiary institutions by the end of 2024.
The beneficiary districts are Akuapem South, Abuakwa North, Upper Manya Krobo, New Juaben South, Birim Central, Esikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, Gomoa East, Cape Coast Metro, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA) and Agona East.
The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum who unveiled the project yesterday in Accra said the percentage of girls pursuing science related courses in SHS and the tertiary level had been discouraging over the years.
He said only 12.1 per cent of women were pursing engineering programmes in the various tertiary institutions, stressing that, even at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), only 18 per cent of women enrolled in STEM programmes with the men comprising 82 per cent.
“The Arabs nations are doing so well. Algeria has the highest enrollments of women in Engineering at their universities, which is even higher than the developed nations.
“Africa, especially south of the Sahara can do same. We have to take a look at how we can improve the 18 per cent, since that is not good enough and neither is the 12.5 per cent also good for our education,” Dr Adutwum said.
He tasked the GES to ensure that about 50 per cents of the beneficiaries of the project enrolled in SHS to pursue STEM programmes, to enable the government replicate same across the country.
The Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Jung-Taek Lim, said, the project represents yet another milestone in the development co-operation between the Republic of Korea and the Government of Ghana.
He reiterated the critical role Education played in South Korea’s rapid socio-economic development since the early 1950s, and extolled the government of Ghana’s massive investments to improve the Education Sector.
The KOICA’s Country Director, Mr Mooheon Kong appealed to stakeholders and implementing partners to focus on promoting accountability, community awareness, and advocacy to maximise the synergy of all effort that seeks to support the future of adolescent girls.
He pledged KOICA’s unwavering support to the Ministry of Education, GES, and other key stakeholders of its continued support in subsequent partnership.
BY BERNARD BENGHAN