Akufo-Addo to students: Choose STEM education

STEM education according to President Akufo-Addo, largely accounts for the successes of the developed world and Ghana, he says, cannot afford to be left out

President Akufo-Addo has charged primary school pupils and Junior High School (JHS) students to give greater consideration to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) educational choices as they climb up the academic ladder instead.

STEM education according to President Akufo-Addo, largely accounts for the successes of the developed world and Ghana, he says, cannot afford to be left out, the reason for which, he believes, a deliberate effort ought to be made to encourage more Ghanaian pupils and students to choose STEM education.

The President made the call Friday, 20 May 2022, at the banquet hall of the Jubilee House, when he addressed award winning pupils, students and attendees of the 2021 “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Junior Graphic Essay Competition” awards ceremony.

STEM education

According to President Akufo-Addo, government has set for itself “a target that, at the end of the decade, the ratio of students who are studying the humanities, as against those who are studying the sciences will be 60 (%) – 40 (%) in favour of the sciences”.

“It is for a simple reason, that the world in which we leave which is driven by science and technology, the population that is emerging has to be a population that has a strong grasp of science and technology”.

“When you are going to make the decisions as to what you will study as you climb up the educational ladder, think seriously about this (STEM)” President Akufo-Addo said in a direct appeal to pupils and students in Ghana.

“The societies that are succeeding today, are the societies that have given a lot of emphasis to the teaching and learning of science and technology and we have to be right there in the vanguard of that development”.

“We can’t afford to be left behind either by our fellow Africans or any other people of the world” President Akufo-Addo added.

Managing Director of GCG, Ato Afful, exchanging pleasantries with President Akufo-Addo

Global turbulence

The entire globe President Akufo-Addo, observed, it going through a major economic, social and geo-political challenges currently. However, he was quick to added that, he is confident that Ghana and the rest of the world will make a total recovery from turbulences.

“We are going through a lot of turbulence in the world, you have seen it, you read about, whenever you turn on the television, you see it, the difficulties that the world is going through at the moment”.

“I have a lot of confidence in the resilience of the human race and I am sure that we will over the difficulties that we have at the moment, both us as Ghanaians and as Africans and all of us as global citizens” Akufo-Addo said.

State support

Managing Director of Graphic Communications Group, Mr Ato Afful, in his remarks noted that the support of the presidency for the essay competition and the commitment to take the prize winner on an all-expense paid for trip to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), has contributed to the renewed interest of primary school pupils and JHS students in the competition.

“I thank you your excellency for the immense inspiration and concrete support that you have given us on this project” Ato Afful stated.

The overall winner of the 2021 Junior Graphic Essay Competition, Evangelyn Ukoma Awa, receiving her certificate from President Akufo-Addo

Award winners

The eleven awardees who received their awards from the President are Evangelyn Ukoma Awa, Kelvin Appiah Ampretwumn, Christopher Gafah Boateng, Prince Asare Duodo, Nadjat Abidina Issaka and Micah Ntim.

The remaining are Lordina Achiamaa Abebrese, Prince Owusu Abebrese, Rachael Hammon-Laast, Bernard Baah-Banful and Nana Ama Nimakoa Boampong.

The overall winner of the 2021 Junior Graphic Essay Competition, Evangelyn Ukoma Awa, presented a framed copy of his essay to President Akufo-Addo.

JG Essay Competition

Junior Graphic, a publication by the Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL), initiated the Junior Graphic Essay Competition in partnership with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) secretariat at the Presidency, four years ago to promote reading and writing among schoolchildren in primary and junior high schools (JHSs).

This year’s competition, which was the fourth since it was instituted, was on the theme: “Influencing creativity and critical thinking of young people through writing”.

The participants were given two questions and they were to answer one. The first was; “The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on poverty aims at eradicating poverty by 2030”.

A cross-section of the award winners seated at the Jubilee House

“Write a letter to the Editor of Junior Graphic indicating three ways in which poverty can be eradicated in the country”. The second question was; “Write a story that ends: since that day, I have learnt to be respectful”.

The 2022 edition of the competition was a two-phase event. First, the questions were published in the Junior Graphic in the first week of March, with the guidelines for participation clearly spelt out.

Interested participants were then given two months to submit their entries, after which the top 50 were selected for the final stage. Based on the performances of the 50, 10 contestants got selected for awards.

Wilberforce Asare

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