Mr Ernest Akosah, Deputy Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the Ghana Education Service make a case on the Relevance of STEM Education in 21st Century, Ghana in retrospect.
According to him, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of the republic of Ghana while addressing the parliament on the eve of our independence on March 6,1957 laid out his vision for a new country.
The vision, he indicated, could be realized if we establish universities and research institutions for “agriculture, biology and the physical and chemical sciences’.
According him, the initiative he argued would prepare the youth to meet any definite situations of the changing community but not to train them for “clerical activities and occupations of foreign commercial and mercantile concerns”
According to him, unfortunately, 65 years down the lane it seems our educational system has largely not served its purpose of educating people to meet the challenges of today; instead, it has, by and large, become a manufacturer of graduates equipped only for clerical skills and the humanity, a condition he said Dr. Nkrumah bemoaned and fought tirelessly against.
He underscored that, the reason for this is the minimal attention to STEM education. says STEM education has become increasingly important in policy advocacy across the world.
The acronym STEM is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Over the past four years in Ghana,
He noted that, there has been a progressively rapid focus to STEM education, and the ministry of education and its associated agencies are putting measures in place to revamp the educational system to accommodate or include a more STEM approach in the various levels of formal education across the country.
He disclose that, the society is currently live in an era characterized by accelerated technological advancement, innovative solutions to problems we encounter and creative methods of making our world a better place.
He noted that, skills developed by students through STEM could provide them with foundation to succeed at school and beyond, adding that,the promise of STEM education is assuring (as the US, China and South Korea have demonstrated), as Malaysia for instance was comparatively similar to Ghana in economic status at the time of their independence. However, our current economic status is far from similar. The world bank attributed Malaysia’s success story to their ability to transform low technological economy into a manufacturing hub that has become a leading exporter of electrical appliances and parts.
He said the transformation of STEMs from their National Science and Technology initiative in 1986 to promote research and innovation.
He indicated that, STEM education is increasingly recognized as fundamental driver of national development, economic productivity and societal wellbeing in this 21st century.
He was of the view that, STEM education helps students to have critical and independent thinking skills, become creative and efficient problem solvers and are empowered to succeed and adapt to this changing world retrospective that, the principle of STEM education is applicable to nearly every job and industry imaginable says in the 21st century, the world of work is undergoing dramatic change, causing significant disruption in the patterns of jobs, and changing the nature of our schooling system and making the young people change their expectation away from settled careers by the previous generations
He underscored that, STEM education has forged a way to a better future and for any country that does not inculcate this would find themselves lagging behind.
Mr Akosah reaffirmed that, unless Ghana as a country aggressively puts in more effort to encourage and enhance the study of STEM, we cannot diversify our economy from our complete reliance on our natural resources to an industrialized higher productivity.