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Professor James Hawkins Ephraim, Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University College of Ghana, Fiapre, has urged stakeholders in Education to concentrate on the promotion of the practical use of Science, Technology and Mathematics Education.

He noted that the study of Science, Technology and Mathematics has virtually not been utilised in our national developmental processes.

"To ensure that Ghanaians utilize Science for sustainable national development, our Science Education should not be geared towards the production of 'book-worms' who have memorized theories and are ready to pour them out," he stated.

Professor Hawkins Ephraim, who was speaking at the 2009 Brong-Ahafo Regional Science, Technology and Mathematics Education (STME) Clinic, in Sunyani, stressed that the teaching of Science and Technology "must produce graduates who have practical exposure; endowed with critical thinking; and can express most of the scientific observations, theories and concepts using the most appropriate scientific language."

The week-long clinic was held for 475 students of Junior High Schools.

It was attended by 22 district coordinators of STME and District Directors of Education, under the theme, "Promoting Quality Science and Technology Education for Sustainable National Development."

The students were selected based on their interests in STME subjects and taken through tests, interviews and science project competitions.

Professor Ephraim noted that the vital ingredient needed for achieving effective Science and Technology Education in Ghana was quality Science teachers, adding, "an aggressive quality Science and Technology Education must necessarily start with the training of Science Teachers, who must be highly motivated to achieve the desired results.

Prof. Ephraim called for the restoration of Science Resource Centres and the Establishment of Centres of Excellence for the teaching of Science at the secondary and tertiary levels with the setting up of a national laboratory where expensive and specialized equipment must be set up.

Mr. Ohemeng Frimpong, Brong-Ahafo Regional STME Co-ordinator, explained that the "STME is an educational programme that aims at correcting the gender imbalance in the participation in Science, Technology and Mathematics at the various levels of education."

He said it is intended to maximize the potentials of the Ghanaian woman with the specific aim of increasing and sustaining female participation in STME related subjects.

The objectives of the STME programme, he said, also include making participants aware of the gender stereotypes that inhibit girls and women from entering STME based occupations and how to overcome these inhibitions.

Mr. Frimpong said another objective is encouraging girls to study the full range of Science and Mathematics related subjects in school, making participants aware of the application of Science and Mathematics skills in various occupations and in the production of goods and services.

The clinic is also to prove to participants through the use of role models that women can succeed in Science, Technology and Mathematics-based occupations and at the same time maintain normal marital-family relationship.

As part of the clinic, there were Science fairs, Talks, Discussions, Demonstrations and field trips.

In a welcoming address, the Reverend Samuel Afanie Amankwa, Regional Director of Education, urged the participants to share the knowledge and skills they would acquire with their friends and relatives as a way of spreading knowledge.

He entreated them to ask questions to increase their understanding and the zeal for knowledge.
Source: GNA

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