President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated the government’s commitment to investing heavily in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in order to prepare the country’s future workforce for the emerging fourth industrial revolution.
The President revealed this at the 85th anniversary celebration of Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School (PRESEC) in Legon, Ghana.
The President announced this increase in the percentage of students majoring in General Science at Senior High Schools, from 12% to 15%, during his speech commemorating 85 years of education at Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School on Saturday, September 30, 2023.
For many Ghanaians, PRESEC has not only emerged as one of the best senior high schools but has also come to symbolize the potential of our youth in the fields of science and technology. The credit for this remarkable achievement goes to the dedicated efforts of past and present management, teaching and non-teaching staff, alumni, and, of course, the students.
In pursuit of our national goal of becoming an industrialized nation, the president said the Ghanaian government is now placing a greater emphasis on science and technology education, as well as technical and vocational training.
“The focus is clear: we intend to establish science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM) education at the heart of our educational system.” He indicated.
Why the emphasis on STEM education, you may ask?
The answer is simple: the world is evolving rapidly, and to prepare our future workforce for the challenges and opportunities of the 4th Industrial Revolution, we must equip our students with 21st-century skills through STEM education.
Historically, the percentage of students enrolled in General Science courses in our schools has hovered around 12%. However, this year has brought a significant increase, with 15% of students opting for Science programs. Even more promising, this percentage is expected to surge to 24% by 2024.
SHS Science Students to Double in 2024 due to STEM and how the government plans to make this transformation possible:
- Creating a STEM Pipeline: Launching initiatives to increase STEM enrollment at the tertiary education level. Pre-engineering programs will specifically target Senior High School Graduates from General Arts, Visual Arts, and Business backgrounds.
- Establishing STEM Model Schools: Four new STEM Model Schools are being operationalized, and three existing schools are being converted into STEM Model Schools. These institutions will provide specialized education and facilities to nurture STEM talent. Currently, over 2,400 students are enrolled in General Science and STEM programs across these seven schools.
- Regional STEM Centers: To create a comprehensive STEM pipeline from primary through Junior High School (JHS) to Senior High School (SHS), the government is completing the construction of ten regional STEM centers. These centers will play a crucial role in shaping the future of STEM education in Ghana.
- Model Junior High Schools: Basic schools are being replaced by Model Junior High Schools that will be equipped to offer STEM programs. This transformation will lay a strong foundation for students interested in pursuing science and technology from an early age.
- Lab Retooling: We are investing in the future by retooling science laboratories, including (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) of one hundred and eighty (180) selected Senior High Schools, including Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School.
It is expected that the introduction of STEM schools at the SHS level will double science programme enrollments.