Government is geared to enrol more science students into the country’s educational system to achieve its target of 60 percent science-inclined students in technical institutions nationwide, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
Thus, as part of the educational reforms being undertaken by his government, the President has directed the Ministry of Education and the Ministry responsible for Science and Technology to draw up programmes that strengthen and upscale the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) right from the basic level.
Additionally, government has drawn up very elaborate programmes and strategies to strengthen Technical, Vocational, Education and Training (TVET) at all levels of the educational system, President Akufo-Addo said during the 20th convocation and graduation ceremonies of the All Nations University College at Koforidua over the weekend.
“It is my conviction that TVET is one of the main strategic policies of government aimed at the development of Ghanaian human resources. The major objective of TVET is to prepare people for the job market so they can be productive and of use to themselves, their families and society at large,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said his administration is committed to increasing the funding for research and development (R&D), saying that in the short- to medium-term, one per cent of GDP will be devoted to that.
“Eventually, this will be raised to 2.5 per cent of GDP in the long-term. R&D funds will be made available for all research activities in both public and private educational and research institutions. It will take some time, but I am convinced that, eventually, Ghana will reap the expected benefits of policies that have been put in place to transform education,” the President said.
The President was fulsome in praise of the university’s launch of a satellite into space, saying: “I come here today with a sense of pride, in view of your recent achievement in launching GhanaSat-I into space. Indeed, your achievement has put Ghana on the map with nations that are venturing into space”.
With the African Union about to set up a Space Agency for the whole of Africa, President Akufo-Addo revealed that he has directed the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation to express strongly Ghana’s readiness to host the Agency and mobilise support to that end.
“Clearly, I was motivated to take that decision partly as a result of your recent successful launch of GhanaSat-1,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo assured authorities of the All Nations University College and other private universities that government has taken measures to lessen the financial burden of operating a private tertiary institution.
“The abolishment of the 25 percent corporate income tax for private universities and the reduction in power tariffs for educational institutions – including private ones – are some of the measures government has undertaken,” he said.
It is the hope of President Akufo-Addo that, “With these reliefs, private universities will plough back their profits into the development of educational infrastructure and improve teaching and learning”.