STEM financing crucial to educational framework

Adequate financing remains a major setback to enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the country, and it falls on government and the private sector to invest more in the area, stakeholders have said.

This, they maintain, will not only boost the literacy rate but also produce adequate human capital to satisfy demands of the tech-driven economy.

Speaking at the Vivo Energy/ABCDE Breakfast Meeting on Education in Accra, the Professional Officer for Natural Science at the UNESCO Accra office, Melody Boateng said: “I think we need to put in more financing if we want to be able to catch up. If we really want to get where we’re aiming for, we should make available the necessary tools for teachers, students and schools, because science, technology and innovation are practical and hands-on.

“On the theoretical level, our students are very knowledgeable and have the will-power, but how to make that practical and how to make science work is where we are lacking; we should invest in that aspect.”

The meeting, held under the theme ‘The Promise of e-learning to STEM education in Ghana with a special focus on Girls in STEM’, was organized by ABCDE – an organisation dedicated to filling gaps in the country’s educational sector – in partnership with Vivo Energy Ghana to encourage more private sector participation in education.

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ABCDE advocates that more effort should be channeled into encouraging girls, particularly, to pursue STEM courses -considering that only 35 percent of STEM students in higher education globally are women, according to UNESCO.

ABCDE Mentor and Board Member, Petra Aba Asamoah, noted in an interview with media the importance of African young people being aware that they are the solutions to Africa’s problems.

“We must agree and acknowledge that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are part of the solution to our problems; but if we do not have people going into those fields, then how do we realise the solutions that we need?” she said.

On his part, Ben Hassan Ouattara, Managing Director of Vivo Energy, stressed the private sector’s role of supporting government in its effort to enhance STEM education in the country.

“I agree that the private sector has to be more involved. This where more companies should come on board to offer the right resources.”

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