​Government will increase Maths, Science scholarships – President Mahama

President John Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday announced that government would by next year increase the number of beneficiaries of the Mathematics and Science Scholarship instituted two years ago from 5000 to 10,000.

The increment, he said, would create the opportunity for more people to graduate in the Sciences to contribute their quota to the development of science and technology in the country.

President Mahama announced this when he cut the sod to commence work on the permanent headquarters and auditorium of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) in Accra.

The GAAS, which was founded by President Dr Kwame Nkrumah in 1959 as the premier in Sub-saharan Africa had over the years operated from rented offices.

The GH¢12 million project being funded by the GETFUND was expected to complete within 30 months.

President Mahama appealed to the leadership of GAAS to re-brand themselves in the eyes of the public by initiating projects that could contribute to the growth of Science and Technology.

He gave the assurance that the Government would continue to support the GAAS to harness their potentials to serve the development agenda that they were mandated to pursue since its institution.

Emeritus Professor Francis Nkrumah, Acting President of GAAS said through the continued selection of the best intellectual and professional citizens into its fellowship, the Academy remained a national repository of multi-disciplinary knowledge.

“Indeed it has the potential, through the multi- faceted fields of its Fellowship, to contribute to virtually every aspect of national development. Academies of learning have generally been organizations that essentially gave recognition to individuals who have reached eminence in their field of learning.

“An equally significant second part of their role, which is nationally expected of them, is understanding their role of engagement when they have to give evidence-based advice and contribute to the national debate on policy issues,“ he said.

He said as far back as 1962, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, founder and first President of the Academy, expressed the hope that the “Academy would provide a common meeting ground where scholars and scientists with different interests and backgrounds could exchange ideas and obtain the benefit of viewpoints different from their own. We are confident that this spirit would continue to be pursued to meet aspirations.”

Prof. Nkrumah said notwithstanding the fact that the Academy has had to ‘squat’ in borrowed premises for over four decades, it had in its capacity as the country’s premier learned body encouraged the enlargement of public knowledge and enlightenment through its  public lectures and its quality publications.

He said even more importantly, it had persevered over the years in seeking to support government in the making and implementing of proven policies in science, technology and learning for national development.

He, therefore, thanked Government for redeeming its pledge made in 2009 to house the academy by the end of its first term of office.

“Let me also take this opportunity, on behalf of the Academy, to thank all those who have contributed to make this dream a reality, particularly the GETFund which is financing this project,” he added.

In a speech read for him, Mr Lee Ocran, Minister of Education,  commended the Academy for its sustained efforts in sensitizing and extending to Ghanaians, knowledge of the arts and sciences in the context of critical national and international issues.

He said the establishment of a GASS fellows and Parliamentarian Pairing Scheme recently had enabled Fellows of the Academy with requisite knowledge and expertise to interact with the various Parliamentary Select Committees to share ideas relating to important issues of science policy and governance.

Source: GNA

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