Takoradi, Feb. 14, GNA
- The Space Science System Research Institute (SSSRI) an independent private
research institute is set to train 1000 girls in Basic and Senior High Schools
across the country in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics.
The training is to spark new interests, make
real-life connections, and fight stereotypes and obstacles facing young girls
and women in Ghana.
“The STEM training
must be made a priority for all females to stimulate critical thinking skills,
foster collaboration and prioritise problems based learning, which drives
innovation, the fuel for economic success,” Mr. Kow Panyin Nketsiah Richardson,
Director of Communication said in a statement to the Ghana News Agency in
commemoration of the United Nations 2019 International Women and STEM) Day
The UN theme is
“Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth” while the
SSSRI has “Get 1000 Girls in STEM Education” as a local motivation.
He said the programme
was estimated to cost about $200,000 and would inspire creativity and curiosity
in females through engaging hands-on practical base activities that
demonstrated and integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
"Our goal is that
through demonstrations, conversations and engaging in hands-on practical base
experiments presented by women in STEM education, young girls will become
empowered, cultivate confidence, and develop a deeper understanding that
everything is possible in life and in the world."
Ghana has persistent
inequities in access, participation, and success in STEM subjects that exist
along socio-economic, gender, and geographic lines, as well as among students
The statement said
UNESCO data (2014 - 2016), less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are
women and only around 30 per cent of all female students selected STEM related
fields in higher education.
students’ enrolment is particularly low in ICT (3 per cent), natural science,
mathematics and statistics (5 per cent) and in engineering, manufacturing and
construction (8 per cent).
biases and gender stereotypes continue to scare women and girls away from
science related fields and in order to achieve full and equal access to and
participation in science for women and girls, the United Nations General
Assembly adopted resolution declaring 11 February as the International Day of
Women and Girls in Science.
Mr. Richardson said it
was in recognition of the widening skills and opportunity gaps in STEM that,
the Space Science System Research Institute (SSSRI) initiated several efforts
to motivate action to meet the demands of a technology-driven economy, ensure
national security, and maintain pre-eminence in scientific research and
He mentioned that in
2015 and 2016, SSSRI initiated the agenda to improve STEM education in the
Over the last two
decades Ghana has invested heavily in improving access to, and enhancing the
quality of STEM education as part of efforts to achieving one of Ghana’s United
Nations Sustainable Development Goals to increase the number of science
students in the country’s technical institutions by a minimum of 60 per cent.
"We wish to
commend the government and the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo as part
of its educational reforms plans to devote a minimum of one per cent (1 per
cent) of GDP towards the promotion of research and development expenditure of
STEM education in the country.
This shows that STEM
education has been recognised as a key driver of opportunity in equipping
learners with the knowledge, hands-on skills and dispositions to effect changes
in our society," the statement added.
Science and gender equality
are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development
goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
He said through the
promotion of STEM education in schools would nurture a versatile pool of
talents with different sets and levels of skills to enhance the competitiveness
of Ghanaian students through, hands-on activities, talk with female
professionals in STEM+ careers and participate in fun STEM demonstrations with
local companies, schools, and organisations displaying interactive booths.
"We have been
promoting STEM education among schools in a holistic and coherent manner, with
strategies that embrace renewing the curricula of the Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics Education and enriching the learning activities for
students....we are confident that recommended actions plan of SSSRI would lead
us to a new phase of quality education that can unleash the potential of all
students and equip them with necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to live
and develop in the contemporary world of evolving science and technology."
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.