President Akufo-Addo has said with a population of 30.8 million people, Ghana as a country should target churning out 30,000 engineering graduates on an annual basis with the establishment of a strong Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education as part of the educational system of the nation.
Addressing attendees of a sod-cutting ceremony for the commencement of construction of the Accra STEM Academy at East Legon yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said the country’s current 6000 engineering graduates produced annually is not sufficient for the anticipated development targets of the country.
“With a population of some 30 million people, our nation produces annually, some 6,000 engineering graduates, whereas Vietnam, with a population of some 97 million people, produces one hundred thousand engineering graduates per annum,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“By the same measure, Ghana should be producing at least 30,000 engineers annually for the desired level socio-economic transformation,” he added.
STEM education efforts
President Akufo-Addo in his statement indicated that as part of his administration’s commitment to STEM education in the country, the development of 20 STEM centers and 10 model STEM senior high schools across the country have commenced and are at “various stages of completion”.
“Some of these schools will be operationalized this year. These institutions and center’s will be fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories to facilitate the teaching and learning in all areas of study including artificial intelligence and robotics,” Akufo-Addo noted.
These initiatives of government, the President believes, will help improve Ghana’s numbers in terms of the production of graduates with STEM backgrounds.
The Accra STEM Academy project which is being constructed at a cost of thirty-two million Ghana cedis (GHc 32,000,000.00), is expected to be completed within 24 months
Focus of STEM
The Minister for Education, Yaw Adu-Twum, in his brief remark mentioned that as part of his ministry’s vision of reimagining education in Ghana, it is repositioning the entire system to produce a critical mass of assertive and empowered Ghanaian students with the essential skills for socio-economic transformation.
These skills, he says, will include critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, communication, collaboration, data literacy and digital literacy and computer science which have been drawn from the broad pillars of foundational literacies, competencies and the character qualities of the required 21st century skills.
He added that STEM education in Ghana will also include the fusion of advances in artificial intelligence (Al), robotics, the Internet of Things (loT), 3D printing, genetic engineering, quantum computing, and other technologies.
Accra STEM Academy
The Accra STEM Academy to be built comprises a 4-storey classroom block with ancillary facilities and external works. For the academic space, the facility will have 28 classrooms, 14 science laboratories with prep rooms and a library.
The administrative block will have an office for the headmaster or headmistress and two offices for their assistants. It will also have accounts office, book store, staff common room and a reception area.
A sickbay, a multipurpose hall (1,500 sitting capacity), a canteen, 26 washrooms and a store are the ancillary spaces in the facility. The external works to be carried out are a car park, as well as hard and soft landscaping.