STEM education necessary for technological advancement — Dr Bawumia
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has said Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education was necessary for technological advancement and economic growth.
He, therefore, said the government’s commitment to foster STEM skills among the youth was not a choice, but a necessity.
Dr Bawumia also said that technical, vocational education and training (TVET) was a catalyst for change, adding that it provided people with practical skills fundamental to industrial growth.
He said it was through TVET that “we cultivate a skilled and adaptable workforce capable of meeting the demands of a dynamic and evolving job market”.
"By investing in STEM and TVET education, we equip our students with the tools to understand, adapt to, and drive these changes to position the nation at the forefront of global innovation and digitalisation which will be the backbone of our nation's prosperity," the Vice-President added.
This was contained in an address read on his behalf by the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, at the opening of this year’s Education Week in Accra yesterday.
The five-day programme is on the theme: "Education delivery for national transformation: The case for STEM and TVET".
The event is the sixth in a series and is held annually to assess the performance of government policies, programmes and projects in the education sector.
Dr Bawumia said to improve on the effectiveness and efficiency of the government’s development interventions, it was important to periodically embark on an impartial self-retrospection on policies, programmes and projects being implemented and make good use of the feedback for the achievement of institutional goals.
Education, he said, was the best investment, for which reason the government had since January 2017, initiated and implemented innovative and transformative programmes in the sector.
The Vice-President mentioned free SHS, provision of infrastructure at all levels, restoration of teacher trainee allowances, harmonisation and prioritisation of TVET education with the passage of the Pre-Tertiary Act, 2020 (Act 1049); review of previous curriculum to focus on 21st Century skills and the deepening of inclusive, special and complementary education.
“It is both an honour and a responsibility to advocate the development of a robust STEM and TVET ecosystem that empowers our youth and drives the nation into a new era of innovation and progress.”
He commended the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, for his commitment to enhancing STEM and TVET education.
For his part, Dr Adutwum said the country’s educational system was going through a major transformation, adding that “we have received support to build a number of schools”.
He mentioned the Arab Development Bank as one of the establishments that was supporting the government to construct more basic and junior high schools in the country.
A Deputy Minister of Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, said assessing the progress of policies, programmes and interventions was pivotal to the delivery of effective public policy.
The UNESCO Country Director, Edmond Moukala, said the week-long event provided the government and other stakeholders the opportunity to jointly reflect on the successes and the challenges that had been militating against access to quality and inclusive education.
For her part, the Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson, said it was important to take stock of how far the country had come in education delivery.