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Science should be made more attractive – Patricia Appiagyei

By Lydia
Asamoah, GNA

Accra, July 25, GNA – The teaching and
learning of science and mathematics in schools need to be made more attractive
to students to study and apply them to their future careers.

Ms Patricia Appiagyei, the Deputy Minister of
Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), at a national
stakeholder consultative workshop in Accra, said scientists must look at
simplifying the science language at the basic level through to the higher level
to enable the students to understand the subject better.

“Science, technology, engineering and
mathematics education must be instituted and promoted throughout the
educational structure of the country, and I wish to also let you know that we
are not just looking at higher education; we are also looking at the basic
level.

“We have been talking about the possibility of
breaking down the science language…the science language is not friendly. The
technicalities are just too many, we need to break these things down because we
know the sciences and innovation is an everyday occurrence… it is our way of
life,” Ms Appiagyei said.

The workshop was organised by MESTI and hosted
by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Tuesday to
engage industry players, civil society organisations and the media to discuss
the Draft National Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy to solicit
their inputs into finalising the document.

The consultative workshop was also to enable
the participants to input into the framework of the STI Bill being prepared to
be presented to Parliament to be passed into law.

Already, stakeholders in academia, research
and government agencies have been engaged to collate their views into the draft
policy while various institutions were being engaged to input into the two
documents.

The Deputy Minister noted that STI constituted
the very foundation of the national development process, especially in the
sectors of agriculture, industry, health and environment, whilst enhancing
performance and contributing to growth generally.

Ms Appiagyei said government was committed to
focusing and strengthening strategic technology and centres of excellence which
would look at digital manufacturing and applications and fundamentals of
physics metallurgies that would help scientist to simplify science language to
enhance understanding.

“These are the pillars on which we are going
to build and apply the STI Policy” she said.     

Ms Appiagyei, therefore, urged the
stakeholders to share their views on the thematic areas addressed in the draft
STI Policy in order to make its implementation and management successful.

Ms Adelaide Asante, the Acting Director in
charge of STI at MESTI, said the Policy was being reviewed because the 2010
policy was not well implemented due to the lack of coordinated STI activities,
inadequate STI infrastructure, and limited budgetary allocation, among other
things.

would still host the Parliamentary Select
Committee on Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation to solicit their
inputs after which the document would be sent to Cabinet by the end of August.

Dr George Owusu Essegbey, the Director at
CSIR-STEPRI, said Ghana needed to take STI seriously in order to boost
development because that was what had pushed the industrialised countries to
their current status.

“Innovation is where we must get to if we
really want to transform the country into a developed country,” he noted.

He said the private sector had a key role to
play to assist the Government in priotising STI by helping fund its activities.

Meanwhile the STI Policy and framework Bill
has been structured to establish a Presidential Advisory Council on Science and
Technology to advice government on critical science programmes.

It is also expected to establish an
inter-ministerial collaboration forum to ensure that there was coordination of
all sectorial activities involving science, technology and innovation.

A platform would then be created to promote
interaction of universities, research institutions, governments and the private
sector and establish a National Fund for STI, Research and Development.

GNA 

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