One hundred SHSs to receive science equipment

BY: Severious Kale Dery
Professor Nana Opoku-Agyemang (second right) examining one of the equipment while Mr Read Jones (right) of ITEC Global Ltd, the technical consultants on the project explains the use of the tool. Also in the picture are Mr Alex Kyeremeh (left), Deputy Minister of Education and Mr Isaac Biney, Director, Planning, Budget, Monitoring and Evaluation of the Education Ministry

The Ministry of Education has taken delivery of a large consignment of science equipment for distribution to 100 senior high schools.

The equipment, procured by the ministry at the cost of GH¢39 million, are intended to address the weakness in the teaching and learning, as well as the learning outcomes of Mathematics and Science in the schools.

The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, who inspected the five truckloads of the equipment at Dowenya near Accra last Friday, said the consignment was the first batch of the equipment.

Prof Opoku-Agyemang was accompanied by the Deputy Minister in charge of pre-tertiary, Mr Alex Kyeremeh, the Chief Director of the ministry, Mr Enoch Cobbinah and other directors of the ministry.

She said government had noted the weakness in the sciences and Mathematics and had put in place a number of remedial measures to address the problem.

She said as part of interventions to deal with the weaknesses, the ministry had rehabilitated and equipped 300 science resource centres, under phase one of the upgrading of science resource centres project to improve the teaching and learning of science.

Skills development

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang said as part of the project, 1,200 science teachers and laboratory technicians from 400 beneficiary schools had been trained to improve their skills in the use of equipment in ICT, audio visuals, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and General Laboratory.

Furthermore, she said all the regional science coordinators, numbering 20, had been trained on the management of the science centres, to make for efficient management and monitoring.

Other measures taken to improve performance include the training of 1,000 science teachers from 125 low performing public senior high schools under the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP), while

500 Mathematics teachers of basic and senior high schools, are also being trained, she added.

Professor Opoku-Agyemang said the government had prioritized the teaching and learning of Mathematics and Science as a means to reverse the historical trend of poor performance in Mathematics and Science in the country.

Performance in WASSCE

The Education Minister said In all, 11,847 teachers had received career development training to enhance their teaching methodologies in literacy, Mathematics and Science, adding that 31,000 public basic school teachers had also been trained in ICT.

Prof Opoku-Agyemang said as part of efforts to improve performance in the 2016 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), the ministry engaged with heads of 500 low performing public and private senior high schools across the country in Kumasi recently to develop a strategy that would help reverse the poor performance in the examination.

She recalled that during the meeting, the ministry promised the beneficiary schools that the science equipment would be delivered to them by March 2016.

“Today, I come to receive the equipment to ensure their delivery to the schools. Each beneficiary school will be provided with 600 boxes of various science equipment and chemicals,” she said.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang appealed to the heads of SHSs. who had already taken delivery of the science equipment for their respective laboratories but were keeping them, to put them to the intended use to ensure the expected improved results, as well as value for money.

The minister warned that any head who flouted the directive would be sanctioned and assured that the ministry remained committed to the cause of improving teaching and learning of science and would continue to invest in measures to achieve improvement in results.