President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated the government’s commitment to make science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education the backbone of the nation's development.
In pursuit of that commitment, he said the government had made significant investment in STEM and was prioritising it as a central pillar in the country’s educational system.
At the 85TH anniversary celebration of the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School (PRESEC) last Saturday, the President said the investment included the construction of 10 regional STEM centres, the operationalisation of four newly constructed STEM schools and the conversion of three existing schools into STEM model schools.
The investments, the President said, were already yielding results, with the percentage of general science students in Senior High Schools (SHSs) increasing from 12 per cent in past years to 15 per cent in 2023, and was expected to increase to 24 per cent in 2024.
The 85th anniversary of PRESEC was on the theme: “Building upon a Legacy of Excellence – come and join us.”
It was attended by many dignitaries, including a former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye; the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante; the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, and the Director General of the Ghana Education Service, Dr Eric Nkansah.
Giving more details on some STEM policies introduced by the government, President Akufo-Addo noted that a STEM pipeline had been created to increase STEM enrolment at the tertiary education level through pre-engineering programmes.
The policy, he said, was meant to increase the number of engineering students from the current 6,500 to 30,000 by 2030.
“The pre-engineering programme has been introduced to target Senior High School Graduates in General Arts, Visual Arts and Business.
The George Grant University of Mines and Technology, the Pentecost University and the Kumasi Technical University have admitted students into this flagship programme that allows students to study subjects such as Physics, Elective Mathematics, Engineering Practice, Chemistry, Technical Drawing, Applied Electricity and ICT,” he noted.
At the SHS level, President Akufo-Addo said four newly constructed STEM Model schools had been operationalised, and three existing schools converted into STEM Model Schools.
The schools, he said, were the Ghana STEM Academy Schools as Abomosu STEM Academy, Awaso STEM Academy, Kpasenkpe STEM Academy, Bosomtwi Girls STEM Academy, Bosomtwi STEM Academy, Accra High School STEM Centre, and Koase Secondary Technical School.
“These schools have been equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms, dormitories, assembly halls, dining halls and conducive environments to foster teaching and learning.
There are some 2,400 students enrolled to study General Science and STEM in the seven schools”, "coupled with the introduction of new STEM pathways, including engineering science and robotics, aviation and aerospace; computer science, biomedical science, agricultural science and manufacturing,” the President added.
Rev. Prof. Mante commended the Minister of Education for the numerous innovations he had introduced in the education sector, especially STEM education, which he said would spur the growth of the country.
The Moderator further appealed to all stakeholders in the education sector to continue to effectively play their roles in improving the sector for the country’s benefit.
For his part, the Headmaster of PRESEC, David Odidja, lauded the government for the various interventions in the educational sector which had benefited PRESEC.
He, however, appealed to the government to help provide the school with a new assembly hall and a minibus to enhance effective teaching and learning.