Mr Selorm Adadevoh, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Ghana, says Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) robotics must be championed because it is the bedrock for development.
He indicated that robotics had increasingly become integral to socio-economic development across the globe and must be fully integrated into the country’s educational curricula.
“In countries like Japan and China, it has elevated development to another level where robotics technology was breaking down complex human tasks and was constantly creating the environment for humans to perform daily activities with ease.”
Mr Adadevoh made the remarks on Wednesday when he cut the sod for the construction of the Mamfe Robotics Lab at the Methodist Girls Senior High School (MEGHIS) at Mamfe in the Easter Region.
The MTN Ghana Foundation is funding the construction of the robotics lab at the cost of GH₵1.9 million. It is expected to be completed in five months.
The robotics lab would consist of a 100-seater hall, ICT Centre, gallery, and a few other components, and would be furnished with computers and accessories, robotics tools and equipment, furniture and electrical equipment, and internet service.
Mr Adadevoh said in education, STEM robotics was changing the way students learn, and the use of robotics in the classroom had allowed complicated formulae to be simplified.
“It has become a tool that aids in the understanding of abstract and complex concepts in science and technology courses, and also facilitates creative thinking as well as promotes the teaching and learning of STEM,” he added.
Mr Adadevoh said STEM robotics also stimulated creative thinking and made learning fun, engaging and more inclusive for even students with disabilities using assistive technology, adding, “we cannot get the future we envisage if we fail to take advantage of ICT and robotics in our education.”
He acknowledged the efforts being made to bridge the digital divide between females and males’ saying, “as we lay the foundation of the robotics lab, we are confident that it will be a significant contribution to STEM education in Ghana.”
Gifty Twum-Ampofo, Deputy Education Minister said the Government was committed to making STEM education a key objective to improving quality education in the country to ensure that students become globally competitive.
She said with the rising need for young people to be equipped with digital skills, the government was integrating and strengthening the study of STEM and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in schools.
The Deputy Education Minister noted that since 2017, the government had put in place innovative policies and reforms with the aim of equipping students with 21st-century skills needed to effectively participate in the fourth industrial revolution.
She said over the period of the implementation of Free Senior High School (SHS) policy, only 12 per cent of students enrolled for core science subjects, attributing that to the lack of sufficient and relevant 21st Century skills anchored in STEM.
“This is why the government is working to flip the second cycle enrollment ratio of science to humanities from the present 40:60 to 60:40,” she added.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo said the government was upgrading science resource centers for selected existing senior high schools, with the aim of increasing student enrollment and raising the standard of education.
She encouraged the contractors to work within timelines to enable the facilities to be commissioned on schedule.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo commended the MTN Ghana Foundation for its contribution to Ghana’s education and for its commitment to equipping female students with digital skills through the Robotic Center.
She also encouraged the students to make maximum use of the lab when it was officially opened.
Mrs Winifred Arthur, Headmistress of MEGHIS, said the gesture was timely and would improve STEM education.
She also appealed to other agencies and stakeholders to assist the school to put up a science laboratory.