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General News of Thursday, 20 October 2016


NPP, NDC, JOY assures science teachers of good conditions after 2016 elections

Two political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic Party (NPP), and the only Independent presidential candidate in the coming December polls, Jacob Osei Yeboah (JOY), are promising to invest more in science related subjects when they get the nod.  

The parties and JOY made these promise at a political engagement organized by the Ghana Association of Science Teachers (GAST) in Accra last Tuesday. It was a platform by GAST to know the vision of political parties for the science subjects when they gain power.

The National President of GAST, Reverend Thomas Kofi Arbor, made it public during the interaction that the factors contributing to low performances in the Science subject at Junior and Senior High Schools are because of serious mistakes in the textbooks by publishers, unprepared attitude of some science teachers to conform to new trends and handling of the subjects as well as low level of support from government to the association in building the capacity of GAST members.

He said those observations were made at the end of GAST’s 58th Annual General Meeting, conference and workshop and at its first Executive Board Meeting, adding that the syllabus was also noted to be bulky for a relatively short time for completion.

In addition, Rev. Arbor suggested that all science textbooks should be directed to GAST for thorough editing before they are published, requested for a financial support from government for their workshop and reduce the syllabus for the academic time frame or increase the time to cover the bulky syllabus.

Being an Electric Engineer himself, Jacob Osei Yeboah, during his submission pointed out that his government will combine the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Industry, so that the output created by the educational system will feed the industries.

By that combination, JOY explained that science teachers will base their researches on the needs of the Ghanaian industry for the findings to be inculcated into the syllabus. This, he said, will bridge the gap between the academia and practitioners for the development of the nation.

According to the independent candidate, his government will provide all the necessary equipment needed to make science a priority, adding that he will grant GAST the powers to edit all science related textbooks as well as confiscate the ones which bypassed them to be on the market.

For her part, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Abuakwa North, Gifty Twum Ampofo, who represented the party’s flagbearer, categorized all the challenges GAST had observed under infrastructure and motivation for the teachers.

She said her party had realized that the nation’s development was based on understanding the basics of science, hence they would recognize and award the efforts of teachers; especially science teachers to motivate them accordingly, and make them enviable such that they will practicalise the teaching of science than only preparing students for examination.

“The NPP is poised to address most of these problems to a certain point, if not to the fullest that science education will be highly appreciated and incorporated into the normal functioning of the country”, she hinted.

For that reason, she indicated that the NPP will establish science laboratories even at the basic levels and also mobile ones where it is a bit constrained for its establishment.

“A permanent transport will be arranged in the district to where there is a resource center to ensure that the basic school pupils do not struggle to commute to the resource centres for interactive discussions and practical”, she added.

Prince Addo, the Administrator for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) disclosed that they will continue to strengthen teaching and learning of science and also provide special support to motivate teachers.

“We will establish scholarships for needy but brilliant students ready to enter into science- based programs and incentives for teachers who are willing to teach science in the rural areas”, he posited.

The administrator maintained that they will continue to upgrade equipment for teaching and learning of science, technical and vocational subjects, provide consumables for effective use of the science resource centres in the districts and also enhance the teacher- student ratio to make teaching effective.