Story by: Ishmael Barfi
In his quest to reform the educational sector of the country to a technology based one, the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has cut the sod for the construction of the Accra STEM Academy in Accra.
The Accra STEM Academy will be a school, dedicated, principally, to the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
The Academy, which will be constructed within the next twenty-four (24) months, will be completed from kindergarten to high school, with an expected population of some two thousand (2,000) students.
The Accra STEM Academy situated on the premises of the National Vocational & Technical Institute (NVTI) in the Ayawaso West Wagon Constituency will have a number of state-of-the-art facilities, including a four-storey classroom block, science laboratories, a sickbay, administrative area, staff common room, library, washrooms, canteen, and a one thousand, five hundred (1,500) capacity multi-purpose hall.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the Accra STEM Academy, being constructed at a cost of thirty-two million cedis (GH¢32 million), will equip learners from kindergarten to senior high school with 21st century skills in problem solving, creativity, communication, collaboration, data literacy, digital literacy, and computer science.
“In addition, the Accra STEM Academy will be a place where learners in junior high school will be provided with the options of learning basic engineering, manufacturing, and global studies to help them make informed decisions on their preferred programmes of choice at senior high school level,” he said.
Delivering a speech at the event, the President explained that Government attaches importance to the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at all levels of the nation’s educational system, in recognition of the centrality of STEM capability in the employment of science and technology towards Ghana’s nation’s development.
“Indeed, our world is essentially driven by technology. Energy, industry, agriculture, medicine and health, clean air and water, transportation, sanitation, the use, management and conservation of natural resources – the successful exploitation of all these sectors depends, ultimately, on the application of science and technology. So, it is obvious that, to be a part of this modern world, science and technology must be present at every stage of the development process,” he added.
Despite being one of the leading countries in guaranteeing access to quality education on the continent, President Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana’s education sector still requires some significant transformation to compete with the best in the world.
For example, he explained that Ghana must increase her Gross Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (GTER) from the current 18.84% to 40% by 2030, adding that “in accordance with Government’s Education Strategic Plan (ESP), targeted at increasing our science to humanities ratio from the current one of forty to sixty (40:60) to the desired sixty to forty (60:40) in favour of science, Government is repositioning our education system, anchored on STEM Education”.
As part of Government’s commitment to the advancement of STEM education in the country, President Akufo-Addo stated that his administration has commenced the development of twenty (20) STEM Centres and ten (10) model STEM Senior High schools across the country, which are at various stages of completion.
“Some of these schools will be operationalized this year. These institutions and centres will be fitted with state-of-the art equipment and laboratories to facilitate teaching and learning in all areas of study, including artificial intelligence and robotics,” he added.
Describing the Accra STEM Academy as a Ghana project, the President was confident that Ghana’s young people are going to acquire skills that would put them at par with their peers anywhere in the world.
“I expect parents and students to take advantage of this facility’s opportunities, and enroll in this STEM Academy. Government is committed to accelerating STEM education in Ghana, to train students with cutting-edge 21st century skills. God-willing, within the next twenty-four (24) months, we will all be back here to witness the commissioning of the Accra STEM Academy,” he added.