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Akufo-Addo highlights govt’s commitment to advancing STEM education

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated his government’s commitment to advancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education in Ghana. Speaking at the 3rd Applied Research Conference of Technical Universities in Ghana (ARCTUG 2024) in Sunyani, the President outlined the various initiatives and investments aimed at fostering a culture of scientific inquiry and innovation.

In his address, President Akufo-Addo emphasized the crucial role of STEM education in driving economic growth and societal progress. He noted that the rapid advancements in fields such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and renewable energy present unprecedented opportunities. To fully leverage these opportunities, the President stressed the need to equip the workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge.

“Government, through the Ministry of Education, has invested heavily in the development of high-quality STEM institutions and programs,” President Akufo-Addo stated. He highlighted the ongoing construction of the Accra STEM Academy, a school dedicated to the teaching and learning of STEM subjects, which is set to be commissioned this year.

The President also mentioned the development of 20 STEM Centres and 10 model STEM Senior High schools across the country, seven of which are already operational. These schools are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories to facilitate teaching and learning in areas such as artificial intelligence and robotics. The remaining three schools will be completed by the end of the year.

In addition to new facilities, the government has prioritized the refurbishment and modernization of existing science laboratories. Under the STEM Education Enhancement Programme, launched in 2019, the construction of 186 new science labs in various regions of Ghana has been undertaken. These labs are equipped with modern, specialized equipment to facilitate hands-on learning and experimentation.

The President noted that these initiatives are aligned with the government’s commitment to sponsoring a culture of scientific inquiry and innovation. By providing training and resources for teachers, the government aims to encourage greater participation of youth and girls in STEM fields.

President Akufo-Addo emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to innovation. He noted that many of the challenges faced today, such as climate change, public health crises, and sustainable development, require solutions that draw on multiple fields of expertise. By boosting collaboration across disciplines, the President believes more holistic and effective solutions can be developed.

The President also acknowledged the extraordinary work done by the Ministry of Education, led by Hon Yaw Osei Adutuwum, in modernizing the educational system. He praised the efforts of individuals like Fred Asamoah, Director General of COTVET, for their contributions to advancing education in Ghana.

The government’s investment in STEM education extends beyond infrastructure. President Akufo-Addo highlighted the substantial financial support provided for research and book allowances, amounting to over GH¢700 million since 2020. These investments, he said, are crucial for creating an environment conducive to scholarly investigation and innovation.

President Akufo-Addo concluded by urging all stakeholders to commit to strengthening partnerships and leveraging collective expertise to advance Ghana’s development. “Together, we can build a brighter future for our nation, characterized by innovation, inclusivity, and prosperity,” he said.