President Akufo-Addo wants to see a Ghana where 40% of its tertiary students are pursuing courses in Science, Technology and Engineering.
He argues that this would reflect the journey of the 21st Century, which is about science, technology and innovation.
He cited statistics from the People’s Republic of China which has 40% of its tertiary students pursuing engineering and wished the same for Ghana.
He said, “These are the statistics that we have to try and achieve if indeed our dream of transformation is going to be more than a dream – 40% of tertiary students in Ghana to be engineering students.”
President Akufo-Addo shared this vision on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 when six students of Uaddara Basic School visited him at Jubilee House.
They came to present an award they had won for designing an illuminated child road safety device.
Designed by the all-female team, nicknamed the ‘Genius Six’, the device is to assist basic school children to cros busy streets in the cities.
A delighted President Akufo-Addo congratulated the team, saying “what you have been able to do, and the inspiration that hopefully it would give other generations about the future of our country.”
He was particular about the inspiration the innovation of the girls would give on the need for the nation to think about an educational system that conforms to the 21st century.
He opined that engineers “hold the key” to the process of development and of transformation, “so it very exciting for me an old man to see that we have young people in Ghana now, that are firmly launched on the path of science and technology,” and its application to solve problems.
President Akufo-Addo believes it would be in order to get the ministries of Road and Transport to look at the possibility of adopting the device invented “to be used across the country.
The Deputy Minister of Education, Ntim Fordjour said the innovation was in line with the government’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.
The STEM, being championed by the Akufo-Addo government is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Through STEM, students develop key skills including: problem solving, creativity, critical analysis.
Priscilla Osei Tutu and Essel Comfort, two of the six girls, demonstrated their prototype to President Akufo-Addo.
They said the device, upon pressing a button, signals drivers through a sound and a sign to stop to allow pedestrians to cross.
The girls desire to further research on how to use human shadow as a sensor to operate the device, which would make it more disability friendly.
The team came tops out of 50 teams from various districts in the Ashanti region, who took turns before a panel of judges to pitch their ideas and innovative modules or prototypes.
The ‘Genius Six’ of Uaddara Basic School managed to wow the judges at the final stage of the competition, making them the victors of the day.
They took part in the Ghana Science and Tech Explorer Prize (GSTEP) competition to clinch the ultimate title.