Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, has said the Government would support the youth, especially those pursuing Science-related courses, to develop their talents towards accelerated national development.
It would, therefore, make sure that students had access to Science, Mathematics and Technology teaching and learning materials to acquire the requisite knowledge.
Dr Opoku Prempeh said this in a speech, read on his behalf, at this year’s National Science and Technology Fair held in Accra on the theme: “Creativity and Innovations in Science and Technology, an Asset for National Development”.
A total of 40 students from Junior High and Senior High schools across the country, demonstrated with their projects that given the right investments and mentoring, the youth could propel Ghana’s dream to use Science and Technology to transform its fortunes.
In the Senior High School category, Master Emmanuel Ababio, of Saint Thomas Aquinas SHS, in the Greater Accra Region, was adjudged the Overall Best for developing a pocket-sized system unit called Hex Edubox.
He took home a laptop computer and a certificate, for his innovation and hard work.
Master Wilfred Owusu, of Kpeve E. P. Basic School in the Volta Region, won the Overall Best project in the Junior High Schools category for developing a water-powered hydraulic excavator and tipper.
He also took home a laptop computer and a certificate.
In each category, four students were additionally presented with science text books as runners-up.
Dr Opoku Prempeh said in line with the 2016 Education Strategic Plan, the government would strengthen Science education at all levels of the education system, providing technical and vocational education and training, as well as providing special incentives for students and graduates pursuing Science-related courses.
He said we lived in a Scientific and technological era, therefore, it was prudent to provide a level playing field for all children-of-school-going age to have access to teaching and learning materials that would enable them to achieve their aspirations in life.
He said a nation’s development could be accelerated and sustained through improved infrastructure, technology, better medical care and research; that was why the Government was committed to developing the talents of the youth at an early age.
“We must ensure that our youth are encouraged in every possible way to develop these talents to the fullest, so that we can have a brighter and more fulfilling future,” he stressed.
He explained that a country with a high percentage of educated citizenry was richer, healthier and better positioned to manage its resources for the betterment of the people.
He said: ‘‘We need to inculcate the culture of Science and Technology in our people since it is the only way we can climb out of poverty, disease, squalor and deprivation’’.
For his part, Mr. Andrews Quaning, the Director of Science Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service, said it was the wish of the Unit to organise such programmes to showcase the efforts of students in terms of innovation and creativity.
However, their efforts were often constrained by the lack of funding and thus commended Mr Douglas Arthur- Mensah, an entrepreneur in Science, for spearheading and funding Science exhibitions.
The Ministry, he said, should, however, should organise more of such events so that students could develop the needed skills and confidence to solve societal challenges.
He explained that the most technologically-advanced countries had developed because of the importance they attached to the study of Science and Technology.
Mr. Jacob Kor, the Director-General of the GES, who chaired the function, noted that the development of every nation was hinged on Science and Technology, coupled with good work attitudes and skills, which enabled it to be self-reliant.
Mr. Emmanuel Atta Gyamera, the Chief Judge of the Projects, commending the students for their innovation, however, stated that generally, the standard of the projects was not encouraging compared to previous ones.
He, therefore, urged the Regional and National Science coordinators to identify good projects for national fairs.
He also suggested that funds be made available to students with projects to prepare them adequately, saying that, the creative ideas could be commercialised to help solve societal challenges.