Stakeholders in education have been urged to promote the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) among girls, to make a positive impact on their families, communities and nation as a whole.
These views were articulated at the first Vivo Energy/ ABCDE breakfast meeting on education held in Accra on Tuesday on the theme “The promise of E-learning to STEM education in Ghana (with focus on girls in STEM)”.
The views were expressed by the Managing Director of Vivo Energy, Ben Hassan Ouattara; Accra branch secretary of Ghana Science Association, Dr Thomas Amatey Tagoe; African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE) Mentor and Board Member, Petra Aba Asamoah and National Professional Officer of UNESCO, Melody Boateng.
The forum was attended by headmasters and teachers from some Senior High Schools (SHS), some members of the diplomatic corps, including the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana Ronald Strikker, officials of the Ghana Education Service (GES),Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
According to Mrs Asamoah, girls shy away from STEM, and expressed the need to demystify the perception that STEM was difficult, adding that it was important to have a change of mind about the programme.
This, she said could only be achieved with mentorship and provision of the necessary tools to make them STEM professionals.
Mrs Asamoah said if more girls were involved in the study of STEM, it would help solve the daunting challenges in their immediate environment, adding that the internet also played an important role in making the study of STEM easier for girls.
On her part, Mrs Boateng said it was important to focus on how to bring everyone on board to bring the needed change to promote STEM among girls in the country.
She said it would be prudent for the government and the private sector to commit more resources into STEM in order to catch up with the western world that has more girls pursuing science-related courses.
Mrs Boateng said more of the teaching of STEM was theoretical, hence the need to focus attention on the practical aspect of the programme.
The Managing Director of Vivo Energy, Mr Ouatarra said it was time the private sector supported the government in promoting STEM education, stating that about 60 per cent of emerging jobs were STEM related.
Mr Tagoe said STEM would be easier for girls when they spend more time studying STEM related subjects, adding that Ghana’s educational system was solid as compared to other countries.
The Country Director of UNESCO, Mr Diallo Abdul-Rahman said improving on the teaching and learning of STEM required that the right equipment were purchased.
He said the place for girls was not in the kitchen but on the decision- making table which could be made possible through education, and stressed on the need to intensify the study of STEM.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU