STEM education is the way out for Ghana

STEM education is the way out for Ghana

As Ghana celebrates her independence, we should accept that education remains the game changer that will transform the socio-economic fortunes of the citizenry and the nation. 


Therefore, Ghana needs to critically pursue transformative education, which will turn around our development agenda. We can no longer leave our destiny and economic development tied to the apron strings of other nations, which tends to throw the country off gear any time they take a hit. It is a fact that Ghana cannot live and develop in isolation from other members of the community of nations. However, the experiences of the Russian-Ukraine war and its negative impact on the Ghanaian economy should be a wake-up call for us to take our destiny into our own hands through education. 

Therefore, the current dispensation demands purposeful, target-demand-driven, focused education that requires constant and deliberate investment. Ghana, a member of the international community, should come to terms with the fact that in the fourth industrial revolution, the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects is the order of the day. 

Additionally, we can prevail on our national challenges of underdevelopment and unemployment when we accept to invest deliberately in this area of study. If Ghana seeks to forgo aid and industrialize, we should not pay lip services to invest in STEM education. As a determined nation that wants to wean itself from external dependency, a budget should be allocated annually to STEM programmes. It will require the building of laboratories and ancillary structures.  

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics lead to the study of nursing, medicine, chemical, electrical engineering and other related courses within that faculty. The conscious investment will help solve the puzzle of underdevelopment and find shrewd solutions to the nagging problems of raw material exportation and unemployment. Hence, investment in this area of education cannot be a whiff.  

Despite the commitment to turn the tide of unemployment and underdevelopment, intensifying the initiative to equip schools that run STEM-related programmes is paramount. Hence, failure to sustain structures for the development and growth of STEM in Ghana will result in a system too brittle to rely upon to produce the actors who would transform the country. 

It is incumbent upon the country to have a STEM policy to regulate the space deliberately and consciously. It is self-evident that STEM programmes remain our only holding on to hope for development and the deactivation of the levers of youth unemployment. However, the desired results will emanate from policy implementation backed by a budget tailored to a commitment devoid of political or parochial interest. The dividend would transform Ghana from a primary-based economy to an industrialized one. 

Therefore, it is imperative and a charge on governments to invest in STEM programmes and projects irrespective of which regime it started. It will provide the consistency in investment needed to achieve our set target. In addition, the dedication and positive outcomes of the benefits of STEM will promote and project its relevance to the general populace. Given the employment opportunities, parents would encourage their wards to opt for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programmes. Subsequently, the Government should provide scholarships to entice more prospective students to take courses in this area. 

Additionally, STEM can create lasting employment opportunities for the unemployed youth. Unemployment is an issue which is exer

ting creeping pressure on national security. The growing numbers of youths without employment are becoming alarming, threatening and casting a long shadow on the peace of the country. The narrative of youth unemployment can change with the determination of the country to commit funds to STEM education. 

As we celebrate Sixty-Seven years of independence from colonial rule, we should not allow excitement of the celebration to carry us away. We should rather pay critical attention to STEM for lasting and workable solutions to age-old problems that have plagued the very foundation of our socio-economic development.

Additionally, research should lead the way to identify the opportunities within STEM to attract the best human resources to that area of study.

The writer is the Head, 
Complementary Education Agency, Ministry of Education

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