By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, June 18, GNA - Cabinet has given approval for two initiatives aimed at boosting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education across the basic and senior high schools in the country.
The programme, which is in two phases, would involve construction and provision of equipment and training of trainers for regional science technology engineering and mathematics centres for senior high schools.
Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister, who announced this at a media briefing in Accra on Tuesday, said the first phase would comprise the construction of 10 science centres at the cost of GHS88 million and six additional centres in the second phase.
He said the school-based interactive science and technology learning centres would provide practical approaches towards learning in senior high schools, with the overall aim of enriching the academic contents offered in the training of STEM.
The project would improve the pedagogy of teaching of basic mathematics and science, addressing the fear of teaching and learning of mathematics and science as well as provide technology kits for studying of STEM.
It would also provide ICT equipment to improve the competency of both teachers and students.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said upon parliamentary approval and disbursement of funds, the first phase is expected to be completed within two years.
The Minister said the second phase was a basic science mathematics technology engineering programme at the cost of 76 million pounds for delivery and installation of BSTEM equipment and training to improve quality of science and mathematics education within the basic education system in Ghana.
Additionally, the programme would introduce basic engineering and technology into basic education level.
He said building on a successful pilot programme conducted in 2008 with 100 Junior High School teachers, the Basic Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (BSTEM) programme aimed at developing the teaching of science and maths to better prepare teachers to impart practical and problem solving skills to pupils.
It would introduce engineering and technology concepts at the basic education level, improve the quality of science and maths education and resources at the basic levels and increase science and maths participation at the senior high school levels.
The programme would cover all basic schools in Ghana in three phases over a five year period and included training modules for regional advisors and teachers.
It is expected that the two initiatives would significantly improve the teaching and learning of science and mathematics in the schools as well as improving the analytics and problem solving skills of the young ones in the medium to long term basis.