A Food Scientist and Technologist, Professor Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa, Head of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science of University of Ghana has urged the youth to develop interest in the study of Science.
He observed as compared to the Arts, Humanities and Business disciplines, the percentage of the Ghanaian adolescents and youth interested to pursue career in the Sciences and students studying the Sciences was the fewest.
“Only few individuals are interested in venturing the area of Science because of the notion that it is a difficult area. It is not difficult at all, you can pursue different professions in science”, he stated
The Professor of Food Science and Technology who is also the Chief of Fiapre in the Sunyani West District of Brong-Ahafo Region with the stool name, Obrempong Kyem-Amponsah II, gave the advice when he spoke on the topic “Demystifying the Study of Science in the Younger Ghanaian Generation” to mark the opening of a four-day annual Science Festival in Sunyani.
The festival, organised by the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR)afforded knowledge on the scientific basis of many issues and phenomena of daily life, was to popularise science among students of Junior and Senior High Schools (J/SHSs) of Sunyani and the Brong-Ahafo Region.
Participants included not only the staff of the University, but also national companies and institutions such as the VRA/NEDCO, which presented their works using science.
He admitted that like the arts, humanities and business, the area of science has its challenges but there were so many misconceptions about it, which prevented young and upcoming scholars from entering that field.
The Professor of Food Science and Technology, however, emphasised that “the area of science is very lucrative and very important towards the development of our nation”.
Citing a number of instances and achievements of some eminent Ghanaian Scientists in their respective fields of endeavour, Prof. Ohene Afoakwa explained the significance of Science and Technology in the areas of health, industrialisation, business, as well as in ensuring peace and security in the governance and overall development of the nation.
He stressed: “Science and Technology is thus important in our daily living and national development” and encouraged the J/SHS students in the region and the entire country that “Science is not difficult if you put your mind to study”.
Prof. Ohene Afoakwa said what is required is perseverance, focus and hard work for one to become eminent scientists and science-based professionals to carry high the flag of Ghana.
Prof. Harrison Kwame Dapaah, the Vice-Chancellor of the University noted that every nation in the world over was making advances in the study of science and Ghana had no excuse to relegate the study of science to the background.
He said in that sense it had become imperative for Ghana to encourage the study of science at all levels of education, to help in finding practical solutions to the nation’s socio-economic challenges through scientific discoveries.
Prof. Dapaah said 2,500 students from 25 Junior High and eight Senior High Schools participated in the first Science Festival held between February 8th to 11th, 2017, but this year the number had increased to a total of about 9,000.
He declared that the University would continue to collaborate with the Ghana Education Service and all stakeholders to use that platform to whip up interest in the study of science, particularly in the region and the nation as a whole.
Prof. Dapaah announced that the University was still in the process of organising Science and Mathematics Clinic for SHS female students with deficiencies in those subjects to enable them to re-sit their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
This, he explained is geared towards the gender mainstreaming policy of UENR to encourage more females to enter into Science and Engineering programmes in the University.