The Savings and Development Dialogue Ghana (SDD Ghana) a non-governmental organization has awarded twenty (20) brilliant but needy students from the various second-cycle institutions from Northern Ghana, Volta and Eastern Regions to pursue courses in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The students including eleven (11) females and nine (9) males are to pursue programs in Medicine, Mining, Medical Laboratory, Telecommunications, Pharmacy among others at the cost of Gh₵ 33,000.
In his introductory address, Acting Executive Director SDD Ghana Dr Alhassan Musah welcomed all to the function and outline the selection process of beneficiaries and show maximum appreciation to benevolent organizations and individuals who supported the maiden edition of the project.
He also extended a hearty congratulations to the beneficiaries for emerging winners, considering the rigorous selection process applied.
Board Chairman of SDD Ghana, Alhaji Sadat Salifu says STEM is one of the key ingredients to solving the problems of countries in developing economies but however, it is not the case in Ghana according to him, “as the progress is a bit slow”.
“Among University students, only 25% of them are in STEM, and the rest of them are into Humanities and Social Sciences”, he said.
Alhaji Sadat Salifu also observe that there is low female participation in STEM Education in Ghana’s upstream industry, and thus, the scholarship intends to bridge the gender gap in order to propel the industry into the foreseeable future.
“When it comes to gender, there are disparities again. Fewer women are involved in STEM as compared to men. The statistics are that, across the world, only 30% women are in STEM, and clearly the gap needs to be breached”, he emphasized.
“Aside the bursaries they (beneficiaries) will be receiving, we have a mentorship and coaching program where many professionals of high caliber have agreed to be mentors of these young men and women in the second leg of this program”, he added.
Dr Eliasu Mumuni – a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Department of Communication, Innovation and Technology at the University for Development Studies (UDS) took participants and dignitaries present at the short ceremony through some research findings that show the reason why STEM Education in Northern Ghana is very key to the development of Northern Ghana.
According to him, “less than 25% of students in Africa pursue STEM related fields (AfDB 2020), and that is why a projection of a 48% jobs increment by STEM is likely to happen between 2017 and 2030”.
Guest speaker Dr Mohammed Amin Adam Anta who doubles as the Deputy Minister of Energy pledge to support the project with Gh₵10,000.
According to the MP for Karaga, despite the fact that he (Anta) and other intellectuals from the Northern part of Ghana including Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu, have all studied Humanities, and are into policy making, there is the need for them to support the young and upcoming generation to study STEM.
“And so, what we can do is to support the young ones behind us like you (beneficiaries)to study STEM in order for you to fill in the gap that we left behind”, he said.
“I am extremely happy that Dr Musah and colleagues have decided to support this project through SDD Ghana in order to encourage the study of STEM”, he stated.
In his closing remarks, Mr Hardi Tijani who is the Executive Director of RAINS Ghana commended SDD Ghana for taking the initiative to enhance female enrolment in STEM.
He also congratulated the beneficiaries and exhorted them to maintain high academic standards.
Ms Farida Yussif, one of the awardees, expressed the appreciation of the beneficiaries to SDD Ghana and all those who contributed to support STEM, and promised they will work hard as expected of them.
Story By: Mohammed Mutaka |www.diamondfmonline.com |Ghana