The Minister of Education (MoE), Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has underscored the need to make opportunities available to all in order to bridge the existing gap between the rich and the poor considering the ever rising demand for higher education.
According to him, it is only by so doing that the country could fully achieve the economic transformation through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.
Dr Adutwum stated these in a speech read for him by Mr Selassi Dzomeku, Principal Programmes Officer at the Ministry of Education (MoE), during the launch of this year’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Festival in Accra on Thursday.
The STEM Festival which is on the theme “Nurturing tomorrows’ generation of STEM leaders” is a month long celebration that seeks to promote the study of STEM in schools and educate Ghanaians on various careers in STEM.
It is sponsored by ABSA Bank, Academic City University College, Joy News, Joy Learning, YFM and Wolo Ghana.
The Minister explained that the government had faced some challenges in its effort in the promotion of STEM education such as the low enrolment of students in science disciplines.
Despite these challenges, he noted that the improvement of STEM education was at the heart of the government and could be testified in the numerous of reforms, and policies such as the expansion and retooling of science resource centres of some SHS and tertiary schools.
He also added that the government had introduced a year Pre-Engineering programme for students of non-science background and being piloted at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) and the Pentecost University.
The Minister lauded the private sector for the role they had played in the improvement of STEM education in the country.
Joining the event virtually, the Director of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) at the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Mr KwamenaQuaison,underscored the essence of building a strong human capacity if the country was to achieve an economic transformation through STEM education.
Additionally, he explained that pursuance of STEM education had become critical due to advancement in industrial technologies such as robotics, Artificial Intelligence (Al) among other things.
He therefore encouraged students to stay committed to their interest in STEM education in order for them to become problem solvers.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Primetime Limited, Mrs Nana Akua Ankomah-Asare, delivering the welcome address said the Science-Tech Fair had be remodelled to comprise the Science-Tech Innovative Challenge.
She added that this year’s Science-Tech Fair Challenge which was on the theme “Recycling- Transforming waste into reusable products” was necessary because sanitation remained a challenge despite increased awareness and education on proper waste management.
A Cancer Immunologist, Dr Danielle Twum, during a mentorship session encouraged students not to be discouraged in their quest to achieve excellence in STEM education.
She also advised students who sought to pursue education outside the country to take into consideration the weather conditions as well as their financial capabilities, while urging them to join other African communities in order for them to settle and adapt when they arrive.
BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY