A hematologist with the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Professor Ivy Ekem, has stated that the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) mode which acknowledges all areas of study as important and integrated must be promoted in schools in the country.
“This mode of education, invariably, makes the students participate in their own acquisition of knowledge rather than assumed passive vessels to fill with the teachers’ garnered knowledge,” she stated.
She observed that in the real world, no one subject played any role unless in combination with others.
“Everything is integrated, so must the teaching be, otherwise we raise engineers who cannot build anything or agricultural students who cannot farm and doctors who have no empathy,” she explained.
Addressing the 59th Speech and Prize-giving Day of the Mfantsiman Girls Senior High School at Saltpond at the weekend, Prof. Ekem said children must be encouraged to pursue their individual endowments and interests without being pushed into areas of study prejudiced as more important.
She said there was no need to ridicule children who opted for courses in areas of study considered less esteemed.
“To date, one hears statements like girls must be encouraged to do Science. A girl chooses to read Arts, for example, drawing or music and dance and parents feel they have failed.
“Someone chooses to read Ghanaian languages at the university and gets questioned as to why they couldn’t get a better subject. A male chooses to be a cook or a nurse and eyebrows rise,” she stated.
Speaking on the theme: “Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Education for Girls, the Role of Stakeholders”, Prof. Ekem said all five areas of the STEAM were critical for the holistic development of society.
Definite move critical
Prof. Ekem said the nation must make a definite move to change “our mode of education or continue to produce unemployable graduates or worse still, uncommitted employed graduates.”
She advised students, teachers, parents and the community as a whole to support build a better nation.
“Let’s all do our work well and with love and dedication, knowing we all depend on each other with none more superior than the other,” she added.
The Headmistress of the school, Mrs Phyllis Arthur-Simpson called for the completion of the school’s library project.
She expressed gratitude to the old students, especially the 1994/1996 and 1989 year groups for their support towards the speech day and the Parent-Teacher Association for their support for the school.
The Guest of Honour, a retired educationist, Mrs Georgina Quaisie, advised the students to work harder to break the stereotypes, saying it was possible to break the glass ceilings.
Dr Erica Danfrekua Dickson, who chaired the function, called on all stakeholders to help create a conducive environment for teaching and learning.
Prizes were awarded to deserving staff and students.