President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday cut the sod for the construction of Ghana’s first ultramodern Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) academy in Accra.
The Accra STEM Academy is the driver project of Government’s vision to reposition the country’s educational system to produce skilled students to quicken Ghana’s technological advancement.
The project, expected to be completed in 24 months, will be constructed at a cost of GHc32 million.
At a ceremony on the premises of the National Vocational Training Institute’s Headquarters at East Legon, near Accra, President Akufo-Addo said Government was keen on improving STEM education in the country because it was central to the nation’s development.
“Indeed, our world is essentially driven by technology, energy, industry, agriculture, medicine and health, clean air and water, transportation, sanitation to use management and conservation of natural resources. The successful exploitation of all these sectors depends ultimately on the application of science and technology.
“So, it is obvious that to be a part of this modern world, science and technology must be present at every stage of the development process… A country’s evolution is a function of its ability to understand, adopt, produce and commercialised scientific and technological knowledge in ways appropriate to its culture, aspirations and level of development,” he noted.
The President pointed out that inspite of Ghana being one of the leading centres guaranteeing access to quality on the continent, its education sector still required significant transformation to compete with the best in the world.
“For example, we must increase our gross tertiary enrollment ratio from the current ratio of 18.4 percent to 40 percent by 2030,” he said.
With Ghana’s current population of 30.8 million, President AKufo-Addo, said the 6,000 engineering graduates that the country produced annually was not sufficient for the anticipated development targets of the nation.
He insisted that the country should target producing 30,000 engineering graduates annually for the desired level of socio-economic transformation.
Thus, Government, the President said, was strategically increasing the country’s science and humanity ratio from the current one of 40 to 60 to the desirable 60 to 40 in favour of science, and anchor the educational system on STEM.
“Already as part of my commitment to the advancement of STEM education in the country, government has commenced the development of 20 STEM centres and 10 model STEM senior high schools across the country, which are at various stages of completion.
“Some of these schools will be operationalised this year. These institutions and centres will be fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and laboratory to facilitate teaching and learning in all areas of study, including artificial intelligence and robots,” he said, adding that those initiatives would help improve Ghana’s numbers in terms of the production of graduates with STEM backgrounds.
Education Minister, Dr Yaw Adu-Twum, told the gathering that the Ministry was poised to reposition the educational system to produce a critical mass of assertive and empowered Ghanaian students with the essential skills for socio-economic transformation.
The skills include critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, communication, collaboration, data literacy and digital literacy and computer science, which have been drawn from the broad pillars of foundational literacies, competencies and the character qualities of the 21st Century skills.
The Accra STEM Academy will comprise a 4-storey classroom block with 28 classrooms, 14 science laboratories with prep rooms and a library.
It will have an administrative block with an office for the headmaster/headmistress, two offices for assistant heads, accounts office, a book store, and a staff common room.
It will also have a reception area, a sick bay, a multipurpose 1,500 capacity hall, a canteen, washrooms and a store.
Source: Ghana News Agency