The Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, has appealed to the organisers of the Ghana Science and Tech Explorer Price (GSTEP) challenge to extend the initiative to other regions in the country.

According to him, there are equally intelligent and talented students in all schools across Ghana.

The minister was speaking at the public-private partnership conference of the 2023 GSTEP exhibition and awards ceremony held at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC).

In his presentation, he said, “Last year, you brought together a group of students whose innovations we all witnessed. This year, you have done the same, bringing students from Greater Accra, Ashanti, and Eastern; and I appeal to the sponsors of this programme to scale this to the rest of the country because we have talents everywhere in Ghana.”

The government is committed to promoting STEM education, which has commenced in some regions at senior high school levels. The initiative is aimed at including junior high schools, and construction is ongoing to accommodate students.

Currently, the ministry has implemented a basic STEM programme that seeks to involve primary schools in the policy.

As a result, Dr. Adutwum commended the GSTEP consortium for re-enforcing the STEM initiative through the competition as students create their own innovative projects to help solve societal problems.

“My heartfelt appreciation goes to the GSTEP organisers for such an innovation. Your targets for students at this level, junior high school, is something that we truly appreciate. The government’s commitment to creating the STEM pipeline is being re-enforced by you, and we’re truly appreciative of your efforts.”

He also applauded the participating students and teachers for thinking creatively and putting together innovative problem-solving science and tech projects that will, in the long run, help minimise some environmental challenges their communities are battling with.

One hundred teams have exhibited their invented projects, awaiting the ultimate prize as the group with the best project in tackling societal challenges. Considering the kind of inventions all the teams have presented, Dr. Yaw Adutwum is optimistic that there are better days for Ghana’s education system.

Therefore, the Minister has called on all students, teachers, and other private individuals to join the fight and change the history of the nation’s educational background.

The GSTEP Challenge encourages young people to think innovatively and creatively about addressing problems in their communities using STEM. It began last year with schools in the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions. This year’s edition included the Eastern Region, with the theme of the event “Private and public partnerships forging the future of Ghana: STEM education as a stepping stone.”

Dignitaries who also graced the occasion are the Chief of Staff, Frema Opare, as special guest of honour, the Swiss Ambassador in Ghana, Simone Giger, traditional leaders, and renowned experts in the fields of STEM, among others.

The programme supports the students in developing prototypes of ideas they have developed for the challenge while providing them with soft skills, including communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

The GSTEP initiative is being implemented by a consortium led by the DreamOval Foundation in partnership with MEST Africa, Foundervine, Challenge Works, and DEXT Technology. Joy Prime is the media partner.