Ghana's Minister for Education, Science and Sports, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, has stated that one important area that can guarantee a home-based, result-oriented change in the way the economy is driven is education, especially science and technology education.
He stated that a science and technology curricula that emphasizes skills training and buttressed with entrepreneurship development is key to the transformation of the economy.
The Minister said this at a one-day workshop organised by the Centre for Community Science and Technology Education (SACOST) at the University of Education, Winneba in the Central Region under the theme; "Utilisation of Resources in Ghana" implications for science and technology education.
This, he noted would ensure that school graduates have the capacity to start their own businesses and employ others rather than depend on government for employment, a situation that would greatly reduce unemployment and poverty.
In his address, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba, Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, stated that teaching science in the context of the local environment makes science and technology relevant and more easily understood by pupils and students and kindles their interest in science and technology.
Prof Anamuah-Mensah, who is also the Director for Centre for Community Science and Technology Education added that the indigenous and informal activities are full of scientific concepts and form an important scientific knowledge base that could be built upon by school science but is generally ignored or relegated to the background. He called for the use of local resources to ensure that the government achieves its target to become a middle-income country by 2015.
Prof Anamuah-Mensah called for a dialogue among the various stakeholders, educators, researchers, industrialists and policy makers to ensure that the country adopts concrete measures to increase the use and patronage of the country's resources as a basis for rapid economic growth. He added that the workshop is intended to come out with mechanisms for incorporating local resources development and use in school science curriculum.
Prof Anamuah-Mensah urged the participants, especially the students to fully approach the workshop with high level of dedication and commitment so that the recommendations that would be put forward at the end would form the basis of internally generated measures to sensitise students and the nation as a whole in the utilisation of resources for accelerated development.
Mr Alidu Fuseini, who read the speech for the Minister for Food and Agriculture, said that government has taken the lead in coming out with a policy guideline for preference in the public procurement sector, where preferences must be given to local products when it comes to procurement. He said government recognises the need to remove the structural constraints that impedes the functionality of markets at the local level for more opportunities to be opened.
Mr Alidu Fuseini therefore, urged Ghanaians to critically look more outward for answers to the economic problems of the nation instead of its inwardness, adding that what is needed more is private investment, particularly local private investment with external partnership. He therefore, commended the organizers of the programme for the time and effort invested in the workshop and assured them that the recommendation document would be given to policy makers for study.
Among those present at the ceremony were the Registrar for UEW, Mr. C.Y. Akwaa-Mensah, Prof F. Kwaku Addai, Head of Department for Anatomy, Medical School, University of Ghana and Prof P.K. Ofori-Danson also from the Department of Oceanography and Fisheries, University of Ghana.