Reported in GhanaWeb on August 6, 2015. The Exploratory was known as the Girls Science Clubs before. The laboratories mentioned are the learning and resource hubs we plan to implement.
The Girls Science Clubs, an initiative of Africa Women Advocacy Project (AWAP) – Ghana, have concluded plans to set up nationwide science laboratories to further improve the teaching and learning of science to encourage girls to actively participate in the advancement of science, technology and innovation.
Connie Chow, a scientist from the United States of America and a Board member of AWAP made this known when the Girls Science Clubs held a durbar at St. Sylvanus Roman Catholic School in Pokuase near Accra to showcase to parents and the general public some basic laboratory tests they have learnt through their various engagements at their club meetings.
The event brought together seven basic schools from around Accra. The girls, who were all members of the Girls Science Club, gathered to portray to parents and stakeholders the importance of girls’ involvement in science.
The girls who showcased their experiments at the durbar explained that “the development of Ghana depends on improvements in educational access, and a transformation of teaching and learning”. And added that, “Science, engineering and technology is best grasped through hands-on learning”.
Petrine Addae, Country Director of Africa Women Advocacy Project, the body that sponsor the activities of Girls Science Clubs, explained that “women are gravely underrepresented in science, engineering and technology studies and careers, because they lack confidence and encouragement”.
She said science programs open to everyone seldom have equal representation of boys and girls, further disadvantaging young women.
The training of women in science, that is championed by Africa Woman Advocacy Project (AWAP) alert teachers to their personal bias against girls, so they will be more alert to their practice at school, and also become advocates in their community.
Speaking as the chairperson at the durbar, Prof Mrs. Esi Awuah, the vice chancellor of University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani encouraged the girls to keep working hard at school so that they don’t drop out of the education system.
She commended AWAP for their contribution towards women empowerment through science.
Director of Department of Children, Ministry of Gender Children and social protection, Helen Obeng Asamoah, who delivered a speech on behalf of the sector Minister said, ” girls face discrimination, violence and abuse everyday and empowering them is a moral imperative, a matter of human justice and equality critical for achieving the Millennium Development goals”.
She added that ” we stand to gain so much if we expose girls to the field of science and technology by creating environments that are inviting and attractive. There is a great need to maintain their interest in the field in-school and out-of-school programs”.
Hon. Moses Anim, MP for Trobu constituency advised the girls to work hard at school to make good grades to make it easy in furthering their education to the highest levels.
He explained that government is working at creating a favourable environment to help them succeed and therefore they must do their best to make the country proud.