Over 1,500 young girls in selected Junior High Schools (JHS) within the Central and Eastern Regions have benefited from the girls in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) training.
The four-year partnership project between the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) aims at promoting girl Competency and participation in STEM courses to equally climb the academic ladder with boys.
The young girls drawn from 400 schools undertook a weeklong camping trip to equip themselves with practical and experimental courses in STEM to help them prepare to take up science-related subjects moving forward.
The weeklong camp was on the theme:“Promotion of Girls Competency in Mathematics and Science with Gender-Responsive Pedagogy.”
The camp meeting formed part of activities held under the KOICA STEM project to groom and train the young girls to take charge and enjoy equal opportunities in the technological workspace as the World evolves.
In the Central Region, a total of 999 pupils selected from five districts namely Cape Coast, Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem, Gomoa East, and Agona East participated.
Mrs Olivia Serwaa Opare, the Director in charge of National STEM Resources Center of GES, at the closing ceremony said the introduction of STEM in the country’s 21st century was timely because the world was evolving around technology hence the need to equip the younger generation to catch up with it.
There was therefore the need to target the young generation, especially young girls, who were mostly sidelined in taking up roles in STEM-related areas.
Mrs Opare said the project had an objective of increasing women participation in STEM courses through enhanced opportunities for girls in Maths and Science education.
Additionally, it seeks to promote a more effective pedagogy in Maths and Science that would strengthen the education system and provide a gilt-friendly school environment towards the socio-cultural factors creating a negative perception towards girls’ education, especially in STEM.
Though the outcome of the STEM project would manifest in the years to come, the Director was optimistic that the country was making headway in the quest to improve education through STEM.
She noted that the project was leaving no stone unturned therefore more teachers have been trained and empowered to provide the young girls with practical aspects of the Maths and Science to support in that regard.
The Director urged young girls to be humble, committed, focused, and determined in their efforts to climb the success ladder.
Maame Ekua Essoun Woode, a JHS two pupil at the Elmina Methodist School sharing her experience during the camping said it had insightful and educative experience on her side.
She noted that the facilitators and mentors have increased her confidence in taking up leadership roles and difficulty courses which she thought were male subjects.
Maame Woode appealed to the Government to provide more Science and Maths equipment and logistics to some deprived schools to leave no girl behind in the STEM agenda.
She called for the construction of a modernized Science laboratory at their school to support them during the practical and experimental part of their studies.
For his part, Mr Kwasi Abankwa Anokyi, the Project Officer and Information Communication Technology Coordinator of the KOICA STEM Project said the Ministry as part of the project distributed Science and Mathematics logistics and materials to all the beneficiary schools.
The move was also to improve access to STEM equipment in schools to fast-track the project for a positive result.
Also, the project has offered free sanitary pads to all pupils partaking in the project to ensure the young girls focus and commit to the whole agenda of improving STEM in the education sector and subsequently on the field.
Mr Anokyi said there will be Regional and National quizzes for the beneficiaries to assess the learning outcome of the training and camping.
He expressed gratitude to KOICA and GES management for their support and commitment towards the project.