February 18, 2022
As part of the lined up activities scheduled for the first quarter of 2022, DreamOval Foundation and the other partners of GSTEP had the Heads and Leads Roundtable on Thursday, 17th February, 2022. The theme for the event was GSTEP – Creating an Enabling Environment for STEM Education and Transformative Learning in Ghana. GSTEP’s Roundtable discussion had the following objectives:
A total of 97 participants were present at the event which was held via Zoom. Among these attendees was the Director of Science Resource Centre of Ghana Education Service, Mrs. Olivia Opare. She gave a presentation on the Government’s agenda for STEM education in Ghana. Mrs. Opare made mention of the fact that Ministry of Education has rolled out a number of intervention programs to make STEM education effective in the country. One of the measures she stated was 670 science and mathematics teachers in the various secondary schools, under the SEIP Project, are undergoing trainings. These trainings are to assist teachers to use scientific equipment and chemicals effectively and efficiently in order to help the students also do same. She encouraged all teachers to use the technique of optimising high end questions to enable problem solving in the classrooms.
The Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Yaw Adutwum, who has been actively supporting the STEM Program since its initiation sent a good-will message to participants of the roundtable. He touched on how STEM Education is a game changer in the educational sector globally. Dr. Yaw further stated that STEM education is gaining grounds in the public sector schools. He explained that the private sector has invested so much into it already and with the help of expertise from DreamOval Foundation, MEST, DEXT and the other stakeholders, there is hope to solidify STEM education in the public sector as well. Dr. Yaw further indicated that it would be ideal to tackle the old problems we face as a country with a set of eyes by the use of STEM education which would lead to the transformation we seek for as a country.
Our STEM strategy as a country would be creating a pipeline which would enable learners from kindergarten to the senior high schools to steadily involve themselves in STEM. In light of this, twenty (20) STEM centres would be built across the country and ten (10) new schools across the country. These will be operationalised as STEM SCHOOLS, and these schools would make use of the Smart School Concept.
Mr. Francis Ahene-Affoh of DreamOval Foundation took the participants through the mission of GSTEP: create a dedicated national campaign to inspire and empower the next generation of inventors, industry leaders and entrepreneurs in Ghana. He mentioned that this program is to challenge the average Ghanaian child to revive the innovative spirit in them. Mr Ahene Affoh reiterated that Ghanaian children are the innovators that Ghana is yearning for. Francis indicated that the goal is to engage and equip 20,000 young Ghanaians between the ages of 11 and 16 years, in Junior High Schools located in the Greater Accra and Greater Ashanti regions with the necessary knowledge, skills, support and resources on how to use STEM to their advantage. The teachers are not left out. 500 teachers across Ghana would be supported to grow their confidence in order to engage the learners in active STEM and Enterprise.
The STEM program will run for three years. Last year, its first year, was dedicated to active research. During the first year, the program organised a number of activities to launch itself into the Ghanaian society. Among these were teacher and student hack events and surveys, industry interviews and conversations, public sector roundtable, public sector support.
Presently in its second year, the focus is on the Pilot Challenge Prize based on certain activities that have been drawn out from the intense research that was carried out in the first year. The third and final year would be for the scale Challenge Prize. The consortium making the STEM program possible consist of the DreamOval Foundation, Nesta Challenges, MEST, DEXT, and Foundervine. GSTEP is funded by Fondation Botnar and is in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service.
The world is transforming and STEM Education is a key factor in the evolution. The Ghanaian society must not be left behind and GSTEP has taken the bold step to make this transformation a reality in the country.