The College of Science of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST) in collaboration with the Danish International Development Agency(DANIDA) Alumni has held a two-day science and technology seminar for young girls at the Ayeduase community.
The Seminar was funded by the DANIDA Fellowship Centre and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs with participants from selected public junior high schools.
The Chairperson for the occasion, Reverend Professor Charles Ansah, Pro Vice-Chancellor, stated that it is the desire of the Vice-Chancellor to increase female enrolment in STEM programmes and in view of that he reduced the cut-off points for females to encourage them to pursue science based programmes. This, he said, was made manifest at the last admission of students into the University where the cut off points for science based programmes were adjusted downwards to have more females enrolled.
Rev. Professor Ansah further said, as a science and technology institution, KNUST has a mission and vision to provide opportunities for females in science for national development. He continued that the formation of Women in Science(WiSTEM) attests to management’s commitment to the cause of women.
He cautioned the pupils against premarital sex as that can mar their future and encouraged them to study hard to take up careers in the sciences in future.
Giving an overview of the event, Professor Ibok Oduro, Provost of the College, said there was the need for the seminar series for females in first cycle institutions, because science has been mystified and is generally perceived as the preserve of boys. This according to her has resulted in lack of interest among girls in science-based courses and careers.
Professor Mrs. Oduro indicated that although there are equal prospects for all, many female students lack knowledge in science program run in the secondary and tertiary institutions.
The seminar would therefore expose the girls to senior high school programmes, the various scientific disciplines in tertiary institutions and prospective career opportunities.
In her address, the Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation(MESTI) and Member of Parliament for Asokwa constituency, Honourable Patricia Appiagyei, Special Guest of Honour stated government’s value and importance it places on the teaching and learning of STEM at all levels of the nation’s educational system.
Honourable Appiagyei revealed plans by government through MESTI to establish STEM Learning centres at various locations commitment across the country.
She further said in addition to the STEM learning centres, the Ministry seeks to establish Science parks and Innovation centres to support the educational system by incorporating practical skills into the theory in the classrooms.
She lauded the efforts of KNUST for spearheading girl-child education and for helping to push to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Mrs. Monica Ankrah, Metro Director of the Ghana Education Service commended the CoS and its partners for organising the seminar. She used the occasion to encourage the pupils not to assume that STEM subjects are more difficult than other subjects. Mrs. Ankrah further encouraged them to believe that they can do anything they put their mind to and achieve great things.