The Ghana Association of Science Teachers (GAST) has expressed worry that most industries often have to re-train the young graduate before they can fit into the work environment.
Referring to the situation as a drain on resources and unnecessary time delay, GAST is therefore proposing that after term three, no Senior or Junior High School be made to organise vacation classes, instead, the students and pupils be made to do attachments with companies whose operations matched with their scope of study.
Reverend Thomas Kofi Arboh, President of GAST who made the proposal during the launch of the National Science Week in Wa, said this they believed would offer the children with some employable skills before they left school. “That is why our Association supports Government’s “One-District-One-Factory” policy and encourage the acceleration of its implementation and establishment,” he said and added that this would make the implementation of their suggestion easy, since children in any part of the country will easily find an industry to attach his or herself to. Rev. Arboh noted that the teachers on the other hand would use that period to attend seminars, conferences and workshops to build their capacities in readiness to effectively handle the following academic year. He said this was necessary because Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the country had received lots of local and international bashing due to perceived low learning outcomes. He said it was based on this that GAST made the proposal to bridge academia and industry and also the adoption of the project based method of teaching in every field of science and technology and at every level of teaching. On the needs of STEM teachers, Rev. Arboh recommended that Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies should set aside some funds to sponsor science, ICT and technology teachers to attend GAST workshops both at the District, Regional and National levels. Government should also grant STEM teachers some special allowance to boost research in addition to a rebate in the cost of their education especially at the tertiary level, he added. The President of GAST noted that this would motivate most students to take up courses in the sciences to address the challenge where the nation in recent times was losing Physics teachers at a very alarming rate. He also requested the donation of a good vehicle to enable the Association deliver on its mandate in the area of travels and capacity building in the districts, regions and other national programmes. “We need government and corporate organisations to support our annual General Meetings (AGMs), conferences and workshops,” he appealed, while calling on industries or companies to adopt GAST as a brand and sponsor its activities as part of their corporate social responsibility in contributing to STEM education in the country. This year’s national science week celebration which also saw the induction of Council Members into office is on the theme: “Practical and Innovative Ways of Teaching and Learning Science, Technology and ICT”.