The Minister for Education says Ghana has witnessed a five per cent increase in the number of students pursuing Science at the Senior High School level.
According to Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Science subject saw an increase in enrolment when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) came to power in 2016.
He said that even though there is an increase, there was a need for Ghana to double its enrolment of students in the subject at the university level.
“I am not happy about it, we need to double enrolment in science at the high schools and ensure that we create a pipeline of STEM from high school all the way to the university and change the course of history of our nation by simply providing opportunities,” he said.
The Education Minister was speaking at the launch of the ‘Advancing Partnerships For Improved Learning Activity’ in Tamale.
The $14.39 million USAID project which will run for five years is aimed at supporting 213 low-cost private schools in northern Ghana. The project will support these schools to improve access to education, acquire quality learning materials for students and increase private sector investment in Ghana.
Commenting on an aircraft project built by female students at the Afia Kobi SHS, Dr Adutwum said some schools in Ghana will offer courses in aviation and aerospace sciences next academic year.
”When you look at what the children are now doing in one school called Afia Kobi Senior High School in the Ashanti region, this will be replicated in other senior high schools in the country,” he stressed.
He said what the government is doing is to use education to transform the country.
The Education Minister added that the Northern region is the best performing region in the primary test conducted last year.
He said a lot of resources have been invested into the education sector by the government, NGOs, the private sector among others, which is yielding results.
”A number of interventions have been done; supported by the chiefs, the people, and the clergy. Unknown to many of us, it is yielding fruits but if the government had not done the assessment we wouldn’t have known. So this is what we have been missing over the years where we fail to assess our students at the national level, so that we know what is happening,” he said.
Dr Adutwum said the data that the country always had was at the BECE level and that is after 11 years of the child being in school. He explained that this did not create room to help those who were not performing and needed help.
The Education Minister noted that the situation has changed with assessment now starting from primary two.
”It’s an expensive endeavor but it has to be done. We have to ensure that irrespective of where a child was born an opportunity is created for them.”
Dr Adutwum said Ghana is about to attain gender parity in secondary education. According to him, the ratio of boys and girls in mixed schools used to be 100 boys to 92 girls but the situation has changed – adding that the current ratio is 100 to 99.
The Education Minister attributed the results to the investment made in the Free Senior High School program.
He said the era when parents had to decide who stays out of school because of resources is no more because of the vision of the President and his vice.
On his part, the Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Saibu commended the USAID and other development partners for complementing government efforts at offering quality education to Ghanaians.
He said it was important to know that providing access to education was not enough to unearth the talent in the Ghanaian children and called for quality education to develop their talents.
The Acting Mission Director of USAID, Grace Lang on her part said the new USAID activity will increase teacher certification and retention, strengthen school leadership capacity and the use of a comprehensive investment strategy that will support school improvement.
She said the activity will also offer affordable financing options for selected low cost private schools serving disadvantaged communities in northern Ghana.
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