President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo has reiterated the government’s commitment to investing heavily in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in order to prepare the country’s future workforce for the emerging fourth industrial wave.
Because of this, President Akuffo-Addo says his administration is giving STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education a prominent spot in Ghana’s school system.
The President announced this increase in the percentage of students majoring in General Science at Senior High Schools, from 12% to 15%, during his speech commemorating 85 years of education at Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School on Saturday, September 30, 2023.
Furthermore, “it is expected to increase even further to some twenty-four per cent (24%)” in 2024, he said.
President Akuffo-Addo highlighted the creation of a STEM pipeline to enhance STEM participation in tertiary education through pre-engineering programmes as he explained some of the STEM initiatives enacted by his government.
For recent high school grads with interests in the humanities, the visual arts, and business, a new pre-engineering course has been developed. This flagship programme “allows students to study subjects like Physics, Elective Mathematics, Engineering Practise, Chemistry, Technical Drawing, Applied Electricity, and ICT at the George Grant University of Mines and Technology, the Pentecost University, and the Kumasi Technical University,” he said.
“already admitting its second cohort of students,” he said of the one-year pre-university programme that began in February 2022. “The talent pool from which engineers can be selected will mean the number of engineering graduates, that is First degree and Higher National Diploma, will increase from the current 6,500 to 30,000 by 2030.”
President Akufo-Addo said that by turning three (3) existing schools into STEM Model Schools and opening four (4) newly constructed STEM Model Schools, “increasing enrolment in STEM has been made possible.”
Ghana STEM Academy Schools include Accra High School STEM Centre, Koase Secondary Technical School, Bosomtwi Girls STEM Academy, Bosomtwi STEM Academy, and Abomosu STEM Academy.
These institutions provide modern libraries, computer labs, classrooms, dining halls, and cafeterias, as well as other amenities designed to make students and teachers as comfortable as possible.
With the advent of new STEM routes including engineering science and robotics, aviation and aerospace, computer science, biomedical science, agricultural science, and manufacturing, the seven schools now have an estimated 2,400 students enrolled in these subjects.
To develop a full STEM pipeline from elementary to JHS and SHS, President Akufo-Addo also announced the construction of 10 regional STEM Centres.
About 250 students from junior high schools and senior high schools in the Greater Accra Region attend classes at the Accra High School STEM Centre every day to learn about robotics, 3D printing, programming, physics, chemistry, and biology. He said that although six other centres, including those at Mfantsipim School, Fijai SHS, Koforidua SHS, Jinijini SHS, Ahafoman SHS, and Abuakwa SHS, are at almost 90% completion, the remaining three, at Mawuko SHS, Sefwi Wiawso SHS, and Atebubu SHS, are at 30%-50% completion, respectively.
The President also mentioned the construction of Model Junior High Schools to replace clusters of basic schools and equip the existing schools for STEM programmes, as well as the retooling of science laboratories (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) of 180 selected Senior High Schools, among which is Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School.