Automation Group looks to Infinity Club to produce future STEM expertise

Pupils, teachers, some parents with management of the company in a group photograph

…increase educational scholarship package for Batsonaa TMA Primary and JHS schools

Peggy Ayensu is a 13-year-old Form Two students at the Batsonaa TMA JHS whose dream is to become an engineer. A few years ago, that dream could have been cut short due to financial challenges at home.

Jacob Oteng is in Class 6 at the Batsonaa TMA Primary School and hopes to become a scientist in future. But that dream could have been curtailed even before it began.

But there is hope on the horizon that these two will see their dreams come true. This is because they are part of 24 pupils and students of the Batsonaa Primary and JHS School who are beneficiaries of educational scholarships from The Automation Ghana Group Ltd (TAGGL), a company that provides unique electrical and automation services and products through innovation, training and exceptional customer service.

For the past five years, TAGGL has spent in excess of US$25,000 to provide scholarships to 24 pupils and students, paint, refurbish and provide electricity to the Batsonaa Primary and JHS School and now established a cash fund that would be taking care emergencies such as parents’ inability to provide for their children to come to school.

Known as the Future Leaders’ Educational Fund, this CSR is geared towards empowering brilliant but needy students to climb up the educational ladder. The company has previously also donated chairs and tables to Baatsona T.M.A. Primary to help mitigate the school’s infrastructural challenges.

“This scholarship will help me achieve my goals in future and I want to thank the company immensely,” Peggy Ayensu, said at a recent presentation of school bags, shoes and uniforms to the 24 kids. To Jacob Oteng, the scholarship will allow him continue his education and he cannot thank TAGGL enough. “I want to sincerely thank Automation Group for their support,” he said.

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The Infinity Club

To make things better, the company has added what it calls the Infinity Club, which seeks to start the conversation on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at a very early age. Right from Primary 2 to JHS 3, the 60 initial members of this club will be undertaking projects in STEM with engineering mentors from the company.

Chief Executive Officer of the company, Ing. Kweku Asmah, explained that as an engineering company, they believe that it is exposure and interest that starts something and there is the need to unlock the potential of the kids.

“Most of the engineers who work here started as kids who worked with electronics and we believe that through this club we will be able to identify engineers. The Club is focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Anything surrounding how electricity, technology, small devices work we want these children to understand that it is possible to become engineers,” he told the B&FT in an interview.

Asked whether there will be a focus on women in STEM, Ing. Asmah, noted that with a staff strength of 160, there are significant representation of women at several levels. At the management level, there are 60percent women in management, for example. “We currently have seven female engineers out of 45 with first degree but we have technicians and craftsmen.”

One of the objectives of the Infinity Club, he added, is encourage women to be in science and engineering. The club, he noted has started with 60 kids and 24 of them are girls and the company is deliberately encouraging more and more girls to join.

Explaining further the objectives, Ing. Asmah noted that the company is looking at expanding the club and the company’s support to other basic schools in the area as well as secondary schools. Already, the company has partnerships with universities such as KNUST and the University of Mines in Tarkwa.

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“Via industrial attachments, we have employed about 20 engineers from these schools [universities]. With the Infinity Club, it is about making things work and so we will continue to encourage them to work on projects. We are not looking at pass and fail but successful projects,” he noted.

The 2019 support

Hubat Daudi, Compliance Officer and Coordinator for the Future Leaders Educational Fund and Infinity Club, noted the company chose the Batsonaa Primary and JHS School because this is the school close to the company.

“We have adopted these kids and we call them PPA Scholars with two of them graduating from JHS last year and so they are off the programme. When we started we had 14 and now we have 25.”

She added that since 2015, the company has consistently supported these kids by paying fees, levies, buying them books, uniforms, shoes and anything to make them go to school because some parents are unable to keep to their kids in school because the school and the community here are very deprived.

Touching on the Infinity Club, she explained that engineers from the company have volunteered their time to help the pupils and students. “We are working with the science and math teachers in the school so they tell us what the curriculum is, what we can add and improve upon when it comes to hands on electrical engineering.”

The Automation Ghana Group is an electrical and automation engineering company which was established in 2003, with expertise in industrial and building automation.The indigenous electrical and automation engineering company comprises of Process and Plant Automation Limited, Automation Solutions Limited, Electrical Switchgear Limited and SmartHome Solutions.

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