The Ghana Education Service (GES) with funding support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is implementing a four-year gender-responsive pedagogy project that generally seeks to improve the competency of Junior High School (JHS) girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in two regions – Central and Eastern – and across 10 districts.
The districts – five each in the two regions – are Agona East, Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, Cape Coast, Gomoa East, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA), all in the Central Region, Abuakwa North, Akuapem South, Birim Central, New Juaben South and Upper Manya Krobo, in the Eastern Region.
A total of 400 Junior High Schools, 200 from each participating region, are beneficiaries of this project.
The gender-responsive pedagogy project is aimed at enhancing the capacity of Math and Science teachers with gender-responsive pedagogy through targeted In-Service Training and Education (INSET), making Math and Science-related courses attractive to girls through girl-friendly school environment activities and making advocacy for girls’ issues in education and promoting accountability in the management and administration of the project supported schools.
Among the activities being implemented under the project are development and printing of Math and Science Handbook and Gender Responsive Manuals for Teachers, training Math and Science teachers in gender-responsive pedagogy, organising Mathematics and Science Quiz Competitions at School/Circuit, District, Regional and National Levels, organising Girls’ Vacation Camp meetings, advocacy on girls’ rights issues at all levels and after school classes.
The first in the series of Annual Review Meetings for the project was held on Wednesday, March 15 at the Achimota Senior High School in Accra.
The meeting, which was moderated by the Director in charge of Partnerships and Affiliations Unit at GES, Frederick Birikorang, was attended by Regional and District Directors of Education as well as selected officers from the Project Districts and the Ghana Education Service (GES) Headquarters, Accra.
Among the participants was Mrs. Ivy Justine Apawu, Central Regional Director of Education.
In his opening remarks, GES’s Director for Schools and Instructions Division, Prince Charles Agyemang Duah, re-echoed the current phenomenon in global education that recognizes STEM education as a critical vehicle to the socio-economic development of developing countries.
He reiterated the assertion by the Minister for Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, that “in the 4th Industrial Revolution, one cannot memorize one’s way out of poverty, but one can critically think and innovate one’s way out of poverty”.
He added that it is against this background that management of GES gladly welcomed KOICA as a collaborative partner in the delivery and promotion of STEM education in JHSs.
Mr Agyemang Duah was hopeful the outcome of the review meeting will see participants determine realistic strategies and practical suggestions which will improve upon the delivery of STEM education in basic schools and ultimately promote the competency of girls in Math and Science so that Ghana will have more female scientists, engineers, of all categories, architects and building technologists, astrologers, medical practitioners, mathematicians and statisticians, chemists and physicists, among others.
Representatives from the 10 supported districts did presentations on the various activities implemented in their districts and schools during the period under review.
The presentations were critiqued and a comprehensive roadmap for improved implementation of project activities was developed by participants.