The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, Ms Abena Durowaa Mensah, has called for a concerted effort between the government and the private sector to promote the study of science and mathematics in senior high schools (SHSs).
She said science and mathematics held the key to the country’s development and so it was crucial to channel enough resources towards producing more scientists and mathematicians.
Ms Mensah, said this in statement she read on the annual national science and maths competition for SHSs in the country.
The quiz, which started with 32 SHSs, is now being competed in by 135 SHSs across the country.
Ms Mensah said the competition, which had the aim to promote the study of sciences and mathematics, helped students to develop quick thinking abilities.
Besides, she said, it allowed students “to probe scientific minds about the things around them and also foster academic rivalry among SHSs.”
Ms Mensah said in recent times the euphoria surrounding the national science and maths competition was unmatched to any academic event on the SHSs academic calendar.
She paid tribute to Mr Kwaku Mensah Bonsu, then Managing Director of Primetime ably supported by the late Professors Marian Ewurama Addy and Ebenezer Kweku Awotwe, who in their wisdom gave birth to the quiz in 1993.
The legislator said the increase in the number of participating schools had now reawakened the desire and awareness for science and mathematics study in the SHSs for both current and past students within the country.
“Also, students in the various SHSs are beginning to understand and appreciate the study of science and mathematics, whether in the urban or rural areas”, she said.
Ms Mensah said over the years governments commitments towards science and mathematics education was beginning to yield fruits since the numerous efforts and determination by the government in the provision of laboratory equipment alongside the training of science and mathematics teachers and laboratory technicians.
That effort, she said, had resulted in the production of more medical doctors, biochemists, pharmacists , chemical engineers, physicians, among many other science related professionals.
Ms Mensah, therefore, urged all stakeholders within the SHS fraternity to welcome and support the government as part of its educational reforms, to implement policies and programmes aimed at strengthening and upscaling the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) beginning from the basic level.
She congratulated Assin State College, one of the participating schools in the Assin North Constituency which is making its maiden appearance in this year’s competition.
Ms Mensah appealed to the organisers of the competition and the security to ensure that safety became a priority bearing in mind the numerous audience who would troop to the event centre to cheer their schools to victory.
In his contribution, the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said the country was not doing better in the provision of science and mathematics education.
For instance, he said, some of the science and technology based tertiary institutions had now drifted to other non related courses.
Mr Iddrisu, therefore, stressed the need for Parliament to spearhead efforts at promoting science and mathematics education, saying that “We will lose out if we do not support science and maths education”, he said.
The NPP MP for Effia, Mr Joseph Cudjoe, urged educational institutions to let the study of science and maths relate to everyday activities rather than the concentration on textbooks.
He urged the government to increase funding for the construction of science laboratories and the provision of equipment and chemicals needed for laboratory tests.