Accra, Aug. 31, GNA - The country's mission to advance in science and technology would become a mirage if she failed to address problems confronting science teachers, Ms Mary Gyang, President of the Ghana Association of Science Teachers (GAST) said on Tuesday in Accra. Ms Gyang said most experienced science teachers, who had the opportunity for further studies, abandoned the subject to study business related subjects and this had been impacting negatively on the teaching and learning of science subjects.
She said science and technology had become paramount in the development of nations and called on the Government and other stakeholders to come together and find ways of ensuring that science teachers were retained and to attract new ones as well.
Ms Gyang was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 46th Annual Conference of the Association attended by 300 delegates drawn Ghana and 15 delegates from Nigeria and Cameroon. It has the theme: "Enhancing the Teaching and Learning of Science and Technology for Nation Building." The five-day conference would enable the participants to upgrade their knowledge in the teaching of science at various levels of the academic ladder.
Ms Gyang advised the participants to work towards the attainment of the vision of the Association in developing the child to have independent, enquiring and well-informed mind; a thirst for new knowledge; intellectual honesty and an appreciation for aesthetic and spiritual values.
"As science teachers, we must try to live by the this vision and be role models for the children we handle to copy."
Mr Joe Donkor, Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, opening the conference said, science subjects had been causing frustration to many pupils and students and asked the delegates to use the knowledge acquired from the conference to bring relief to them.
He said the government would establish well-resourced science centres in all the model senior secondary schools in the districts as part of efforts to improve the teaching and learning of science.
Dr Ben Ben Akpan, (ED Correct) Executive Director of Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, said the problem of the development of science education in Africa was due to misplaced priority in all the facet of the society.
He said there had been incidents where some parents had as many as two to four cars but had not thought of buying basic scientific materials for their children to play with at home. Dr Akpan said the media had not also made any significant contribution in promoting science education.
He said if the media should allot 10 per cent of its time and space to draw attention to scientific issues, the Continent would soon be witnessing an improvement in scientific awareness.