Science should be made more attractive – Patricia Appiagyei

Accra, The teaching and learning of science and mathematics in schools need to be made more attractive to students to study and apply them to their future careers.

Ms Patricia Appiagyei, the Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), at a national stakeholder consultative workshop in Accra, said scientists must look at simplifying the science language at the basic level through to the higher level to enable the students to understand the subject better.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics education must be instituted and promoted throughout the educational structure of the country, and I wish to also let you know that we are not just looking at higher education; we are also looking at the basic level.

We have been talking about the possibility of breaking down the science languagethe science language is not friendly. The technicalities are just too many, we need to break these things down because we know the sciences and innovation is an everyday occurrence it is our way of life, Ms Appiagyei said.

The workshop was organised by MESTI and hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Tuesday to engage industry players, civil society organisations and the media to discuss the Draft National Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy to solicit their inputs into finalising the document.

The consultative workshop was also to enable the participants to input into the framework of the STI Bill being prepared to be presented to Parliament to be passed into law.

Already, stakeholders in academia, research and government agencies have been engaged to collate their views into the draft policy while various institutions were being engaged to input into the two documents.

The Deputy Minister noted that STI constituted the very foundation of the national development process, especially in the sectors of agriculture, industry, health and environment, whilst enhancing performance and contributing to growth generally.

Ms Appiagyei said government was committed to focusing and strengthening strategic technology and centres of excellence which would look at digital manufacturing and applications and fundamentals of physics metallurgies that would help scientist to simplify science language to enhance understanding.

These are the pillars on which we are going to build and apply the STI Policy she said.

Ms Appiagyei, therefore, urged the stakeholders to share their views on the thematic areas addressed in the draft STI Policy in order to make its implementation and management successful.

Ms Adelaide Asante, the Acting Director in charge of STI at MESTI, said the Policy was being reviewed because the 2010 policy was not well implemented due to the lack of coordinated STI activities, inadequate STI infrastructure, and limited budgetary allocation, among other things.

would still host the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation to solicit their inputs after which the document would be sent to Cabinet by the end of August.

Dr George Owusu Essegbey, the Director at CSIR-STEPRI, said Ghana needed to take STI seriously in order to boost development because that was what had pushed the industrialised countries to their current status.

Innovation is where we must get to if we really want to transform the country into a developed country, he noted.

He said the private sector had a key role to play to assist the Government in priotising STI by helping fund its activities.

Meanwhile the STI Policy and framework Bill has been structured to establish a Presidential Advisory Council on Science and Technology to advice government on critical science programmes.

It is also expected to establish an inter-ministerial collaboration forum to ensure that there was coordination of all sectorial activities involving science, technology and innovation.

A platform would then be created to promote interaction of universities, research institutions, governments and the private sector and establish a National Fund for STI, Research and Development.

Source: Ghana News Agency