The Ministry of Education has received two reports on the promotion of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education among junior high school (JSS) students in the country.
The reports — “Practical STEM education in Ghana, barriers and opportunity” and “GSTEP design and implementation report” — were presented to the Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, for review by officials of DreamOval Foundation-Ghana Science and Tech Explorer Prize (GSTEP) in Accra yesterday[June 21, 2022].

According to the Coordinator of GSTEP, Francis Ahene-Affoh, the detailed reports would support the government’s effort at implementing STEM education through practical learning processes, saying: “In these reports, we have compiled ideas and solutions that will drive the stem agenda among young people.”



The report identifies challenges, such as overcrowding and the lack of teaching and learning materials and adequate time for practical work to enable students to come up with ideas to solve problems.

Vision
Dr Adutwum said it was the vision of the government to make the country a leader in STEM education in Africa.

“We will not take the second spot to any country because in this Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is STEM education that will lead to the transformation that has eluded us for many years,” he said.


As part of efforts to achieve that objective, he said, the ministry was building STEM centres in existing senior high schools (SHSs).

He added that the missing link had always been the lack of structured programmes in schools to create stem pipelines.

He said the government was creating a structured environment in the construction of stem schools, especially for girls to learn biomedical sciences, aviation, and engineering, among others.

Dr Adutwum further said the reports would be piloted and later incorporated into the regular school curriculum.

Although the focus of the report was the JHS, he said the recommendations would be extended to SHSs as well.


The Challenge
Aside from the reports, there will also be a challenge to test the creativity of students, called the GSTEP Challenge.

According to the Director of International Development of Nesta Challenges, organisers of the programme, Constance Agyeman, they had already received entries for the challenge in architecture from some students.

Under the challenge, she said, high schools would be put in groups of four to six and tasked to work and find solutions to issues identified in communities.

She said 25 groups would be selected from the Greater Accra and the Ashanti regions and mentored and coached by industry professionals, who would also guide them on how to put their ideas into prototypes.

The students would be expected to use their stem and technical skills to develop products to demonstrate their ability to create, innovate and develop business plans.

The programme is to enable them to build on their entrepreneurial skills at their early ages, with finalists being declared in December this year.

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