Ignoring mathematics, science can be disastrous – Education Director
Failure to make mathematics and science a priority in education will be very devastating for the nation, the Acting Director in charge of Tertiary Education at the Ministry of Education, Mrs Beatrice Obro, on Saturday cautioned.
She said that for any country, which embarks on sustainable development, science and mathematics education must be taken very seriously no matter the financial implications.
Mrs Obro said this at the Fourth Annual Congregation of OLA College of Education, which was under the theme: “Promoting science and mathematics education for socio-economic development”.
A total of 240 students graduated with Diplomas in Basic Education, in Cape Coast.
Mrs Obro noted that science and mathematics education had propelled countries with limited natural resources to higher heights in their socio-economic development, citing Japan and Malaysia as examples.
She noted post harvest losses as one of the greatest problems facing farmers and fishermen in Ghana today and that much of the harvest go waste because most of them were unable to apply simple scientific means to preserve what they harvested.
She said as a result of the losses, the farmers and fishermen were unable to pay back the loans they took from the banks which went a long way to affect the nation’s socio-economic development.
Mrs Obro advised students, who offer elective science and mathematics in the College to take their studies seriously and make maximum use of available resources at their disposal such as the Internet to further build their capacity and also to take advantage of all the opportunities in the petro-chemical industries.
She advised the graduands to accept postings to wherever their services were needed and also ensured that they made the teaching of science and mathematics attractive and interesting for their students in order to eradicate all fears about the subjects.
Mrs Obro also advised them to prepare their lesson notes well as well as improvised science and mathematics teaching and learning materials where necessary, adding that the future of their pupils lay in their hands so they should handle them with love and care.
She said Government recognizes the pivotal role of teachers in the country and would not relent in its efforts to support them and added that special packages to attract science and mathematics teachers were being rolled out.
Mrs Obro said some of the packages included regular science and mathematics workshops, scholarships from the Government and development partners, supply of science and mathematics equipment as well as building of new laboratories and upgrading of existing ones.
The Principal of the College, Sister Elizabeth Amoako-Arhen, said that out of the 15 colleges of education selected from 38 others across the country to run the new Science and Mathematics Programme, OLA College of Education was the only female college selected.
She pointed out that even though this batch of graduands were the first to study the new Science and Mathematics Programme, the overall best student of the College this year offered the Science and Mathematics Programme and was also the overall best student nationwide with a GPA of 3.82.
She said out of the 265 students, who were admitted into the College in 2007/2008 academic year, 87 offered to do the Science and Mathematics Programme, whilst 178 offered the General Programme and that of the total 240 graduands, one had first class, 43 had 2nd class upper, 129 had 2nd class lower while 56 had 3rd class and 11 had passes.
Sister Amoako-Arhen noted that the College recognizes the importance of science and mathematics education in the socio-economic development of the nation and had therefore put in a lot of mechanisms to expose its students to new approaches of teaching in contemporary knowledge society.
She said in its desire to become a full-fledged college befitting the tertiary status, attempts have been made on a number of ongoing projects on the college compound and called on the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to come to their aid.
She advised the graduands to be faithful, honest and truthful in their endeavours and dare to stand out and make a difference wherever they went.
Dr Ato Essuman, a Member of the Council of State, who was the guest of honour noted that quality education could not be achieved without a well-trained and motivated teaching force as well as the commitment of both teachers and parents to the delivery of education, saying the role teachers was central to any education reform and should not be taken for granted.
He said whilst there might be the need to address capacity issues and new developments in the education system, managers of the education enterprise, should initiate moves to negotiate on teachers’ commitment to the management of the education process.
Dr Essuman advised the graduands to demonstrate a high sense of responsibility and morality and also be examples to those they taught as well as the communities in which they found themselves.
Various awards were presented to deserving graduands.