Siemens, a global technology giant, has made a commitment to put up a science laboratory for the Shia Senior High Technical School (SSHTS) in the Ho municipality.
The company, represented by a 16-member team of Siemens staff from seven (7) nations, fundraised €18,500 to finance the project. The team, called the Siemens CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Team, comprises individuals from Siemens’ offices
The group’s aim is to help the infrastructurally-deprived school to improve upon its science education. Students will now have hands-on practical science lessons. The project will be handed over to the school’s administration upon completion.
During a durbar of stakeholders at Shia to mark the project’s near-completion, team-leader Tim Richter said the project is crucial in marking a path to facilitate better futures for the students.
“We have all done several individual fundraising activities to finance this project; to build together with you, the students of Shia, a new science laboratory – and it has been a lot fun for us. We will follow the Shia school’s development very closely and see how the new science laboratory is improving your lives,” he said.
“The beauty of this project is that we work with students and teachers in the community. It’s really a matter of we-all-do-it-together,” Tim said, adding that there are plans to replicate the gesture in other deprived communities of Africa.
The Deputy Minister in charge of Second Cycle Institutions, Dr. Adu Twum, applauded Siemens for the initiative and their interest to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the country.
“Government is in to support any organisation that supports STEM education, and we appreciate the work of Siemens. We’ll facilitate any partnership between any school and Siemens, so that other schools will have similar science laboratories,” he said.
He reiterated the importance of STEM education and called on private entities to support government in order to create a pipeline of STEM practitioners, as STEM education is key to transformation of the country.
Mr. Joy Kafui Akpebu, Headmaster of SSHTS, said the project is very valuable to the school, given the challenges posed by non-existence of a science lab.
“It is my greatest joy to have seen this project. Since the school was established, my students have had to travel to nearby schools, about 25 kilometres away from here, to access science laboratories. Even with that, the visit happens only once before they go to write their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). So, most of them are not familiar with the science apparatus,” he stated.
Mr. Akpebu assured the Siemens team that to guarantee proper use and maintenance of the lab, students will be monitored and supervised to ensure they take good care of the apparatus.
The Shia Senior High Technical was established 25 years ago and integrated into the assisted secondary school system in 2010, but has been challenged with inadequate facilities to aid academic work.
Members of the Siemens CSR Team all work in different country locations of the same department, called Siemens CFA (Corporate Controlling and Finance – Assurance). The team was in Ghana for the first time during 2013, when they built two classrooms for Maranatha Primary School in Ada Foah.