Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education has become one of the Ghanaian government’s main focus on education now. Thus, the government is trying every possible means for improvement.
The latest step to improve STEM education in the country is virtual labs. This was revealed by the Deputy Education Minister in charge of Basic and Secondary Education, Yaw Osei Adutwum.
He said that the government is determined to improve STEM education, thus, it is going to set up virtual labs for Junior High Schools in the country. Virtual Lab is an interactive environment for conducting simulated experiments.
The project is christened the “Basic Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics programme (B-STEM programme). The Deputy Minister said the President has already approved some $100 million for the project.
Minister Adutwum continued that “Other countries, even now America, have realised that we may not be able to do what we call wet-lab – where all schools have lab equipment for biology, physics, etc.”
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“So now what they are doing is what we call the virtual lab. It allows you to do the experiment as if you were in a lab but on the computer,” he added.
According to the Minister, the government is going on this route because it is convinced that the only way to improve science and tech in the country is by strengthening the science education fundamentals at the Junior High School level.
Another revelation the Minister made was the Next Generation Science (NGS) curriculum. There is a plan in progress to implement the Next Generation Science (NGS) curriculum. This is the curriculum that is used for Science Education in the United States.
Minister Adutwum said the new curriculum is “a multi-faceted way of approaching [science education].” He also added that the new curriculum will holistically combine instruction and assessment of science topics.