The Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education have been urged to introduce science practical examinations at the primary school level to build a strong foundation for pupils.
The call comes after the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology basic school became the first to organise a practical science examination for primary school pupils using locally manufactured science sets by Dext Technologies.
Stakeholders in Ghana’s education space have over the years lamented how the country is lagging behind in terms of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.
Although the Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum says the government is putting in place more efforts to improve STEM education in Ghana as more STEM Senior High Schools are being built, it appears very little is being done at the basic school level.
As a result of this, many pupils at the basic school level have little or no knowledge in practical science.
It was all smiles as primary four, five and six pupils took their practical exams.
Speaking to Citi News after assessing pupils of KNUST basic school in the practical science examination, the headmistress of the school, Rev. Mrs. Irene Owusuaa Nkansah underscored the need for stakeholders to develop a policy that will introduce pupils to science and other forms of practical education at the early stages of their academic journey.
“It would have been very good if the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service could have a policy on this, so that we will have all children having practicals in science. In fact, it shouldn’t be only in science. Here at KNUST, we are not having only science practicals in our school. We have it in arts and almost all the subjects. During the just-ended exams, we had the children performing in music, arts and other things as part of their examination. KNUST basic school has done it. We have started the science practical examination at the primary school level. We’ve set the pace, and we think that, all other children can do it. I have spoken to my sister basic schools, and they are glad, and I know they also want to do it”.
She also wants private schools to also take advantage of the initiative.
“I am also encouraging private schools to adapt to this system of having practical examination. It shouldn’t be very difficult for private schools because parents are ready and I think if they call on parents, they are stakeholders and will help these children get the practical kits and be more understanding to the science that they are being taught.”
Dext Technologies, producers of the science sets, believe that local manufacturers have the adequate materials available which stakeholders can rely on in improving Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the country.
“There has been a lot of talk on STEM, and the reason why they have not been able to fully implement it has mainly been because of the lack of materials. Now, the materials are available, so that excuse no longer exist. So the question is about how to make that transition so that the complaints can now stop and we can look at how we can adopt materials such as the science sets and other materials available to implement this new curriculum to its fullest,” Ofori Charles Antipem, a co-founder of Dext Technologies Limited, stated.