|Scholarship Scheme For Math, Science Students|
|Thursday, 18 March 2010 10:53|
A GH¢4 million Mathematics, Science and Technology Scholarship Scheme for students at the secondary level will be instituted at the start of the 2010/11 academic year.
The scheme is to stimulate students to take up programmes in the field of Math and Science and make Science and technology the critical drivers for the country’s socio-economic development.The Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, Ms. Sherry Ayittey, announced this at a national forum on Ghana’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy in Accra yesterday.
The forum was on the theme: “Achieving a middle-income status through science, technology and innovation” and it was meant to discuss the STI policy before it gets to the higher realms of the Executive arm of the government.
The goal of the STI policy is to harness the nation’s total science and technology capacity to achieve national objectives for poverty reduction, competitiveness of enterprises, sustainable environmental management and industrial growth.
Specific objectives are among other things, facilitating the mastering of scientific and technological capabilities and providing the framework for inter-institutional efforts in developing STI programmes in all sectors of the economy to provide the basic needs of society.
It is also to create the conditions for the improvement of scientific and technological infrastructure for research and development and innovation.
The STI policy was adopted as a national document in 2000. It was, however, not implemented.
The two consultants who worked on the draft policy are Prof. Jerome Siaw Djangmah and Dr. Goerge Owusu Essegbey, both Ghanaian intellectuals and scientists.
Ms. Sherry Ayittey said to extend the country’s laboratories to the marketplace, Cabinet had approved a policy which stipulates the use of local raw materials such as Pozolana cement in the building and construction industry, cassava flour in the joinery industry, bio-char organic fertilizer for farmers and paper from wood.
She admitted that the government could not do it alone and called for partnerships among the private sector, the development partners, the United National, academia and the government in that area.
Ms. Ayittey said Ghana’s vision of attaining a middle-income status is dependent on the extent to which the country mobilised its scientific and technological capacity to address specific challenges.
The Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Mr. P.V. Obeng, who chaired the function, said science and technology are “value items” in the world environment which Ghana is not exploiting to develop.
He noted that science will enable the nation to move away from the old ways of doing things and accelerate economic development.
He said as chairman of the NDPC, no project will earn his support if it is not done differently from what was done in the past with scientific innovations.
He said Ghanaian students are not doing well in science and mathematics at the secondary level, noting that attention needed to be paid to that area.