A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the SPES for LIFE Foundation, in collaboration with the Geagle Company, has launched a project to increase young girls and women participation in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related courses in schools.
The events took place at the Aburi Girls Senior High School in the Akuapem South Municipality and the Methodist Girls Senior High School at Mamfe in the Akuapem North Municipality, both in the Eastern Region last Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
The programme, dubbed, “#Stem She Can", which is also to offer leadership and mentorship to young girls focusing on STEM, is aimed to enrol 10,000 young girls and women across the country to encourage and inspire them to choose STEM courses.
The programme is in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service (GES),the United Nations Education Scientific and the Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Plan Ghana Academic City University.
Addressing the female students, the Project Manager, Madam Eugenia Afua Agyeiwaa Boadi, said the initiative was to bring young girls together and expose them to opportunities available in STEM education.
According to her, three to five schools were being targeted in the region from the basic educational level to start mentoring young girls practically by inspiring them to pursue careers in STEM.
That, Madam Boadi said, would close the gender gap in the study of STEM and related courses.
The Director-General of Administration at the Ministry of Education, Madam Catherine Appiah, said the government had identified education as the bedrock of development in the country which had led to the adoption of STEM education.
She said education ensured that the country advanced at a faster rate, which had also made it possible for the government to align itself with modern educational system and programmes such as the STEM.
Madam Appiah added that the Ministry of Education was ensuring that all the necessary arrangements such as enhancing the capacity of teachers, building and upgrading of STEM centres would be rolled out to give STEM education a boost.
“We at the Ministry of Education are ready to partner any group willing to help raise the standard of STEM education in Ghana, without any focus on a specific gender.
“However, our data shows that women involved in STEM be it a career or education are not many compared to their male counterparts. I entreat everyone to join, else our country will be lagging behind if we don’t adopt this strategy,” she stated.
Meanwhile, a final year Science student of the Aburi Girls SHS, Ms Abena Oforiwaa Boamah expressed delight with the new initiative which she indicated would make more students realise the importance of STEM.
She added that STEM education should focus more on practical are well equipped practically.