THE BLOG

This Is Why African Parents Should Care About STEM In 2017

Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh understands how critical science and math are for the nation’s development and ability to compete on a continental level.

23/02/2017 04:57 SAST | Updated 23/02/2017 09:04 SAST
Matthew Opoku Prempeh / ghanaianguide.online

When Ghana education minister Mathew Opoku Prempeh expressed concerns over the low grades students had in science and math in Ghana. This raised increased awareness for African parents that their children may not be prepared for many careers that require science and math skills.

Dr. Prempeh understands how critical these subjects are for the nation's development and ability to compete on a continental level. Citing the West African Examination Council (WAEC) report the last several years there is continued failure in the mathematics and science areas.

There is great change on the continent of Africa, the incorporation of technology in education and business and in homes is changing how people communicate on the African continent. The engagement of educational initiatives that will train children for the future, creating a transformative paradigm shift in how education is prepared for more students as the national infrastructure, is updated.

African children should be preparing for developing careers in STEAM to solve complex problems that will challenge the ability to function in a technology environment.

Better educational opportunities build the intellectual abilities of youth, teens and young adults dreaming of being entrepreneurs, building businesses and getting involved in commerce and high tech industries. Training is paramount and vital so STEAM and STEM initiatives are being provided by the growth and incorporation of academic courses being taught in schools. Parents must know the difference between STEM/STEAM/STREAM/CSTREAM and STEM2.

These are the infusion of computers, science, technology, reading, engineering, arts, math and in some cases medicine. "The black man in Africa had mastered the arts and sciences. He knew the course of the stars in the universe before the man up in Europe knew that the earth wasn't flat."

It is important for the future of Africa when Africans can invest and re-invest in their own nations, on their own continent than waiting on others that do not have the same passion for the continent and do not have the same wish for cultural and national stability and pride.

The mission is to engage the whole child and foster higher order thinking and critical thinking skills in all areas," defined by STEM. The changing thinking of building African minds is that STEM creates core values that embrace diversity in learning and understanding that all learning is connected and transferable. The blending of STEM skills require students to engage in creative application, critical and higher order thinking that supports collaborative and cooperative learning.

Learning that challenges thinking, bringing about success that is transferable in advanced areas of application in society. Many careers are now influenced by STEM curriculums that help determine the paths for students and their choice of careers.

As an Educational Technology, Social Media and STEM instructor at Edward Waters College; educators, artists, business people and scientists recognise the importance of blending the arts and sciences believing that this can lead to richer student learning. STEAM is complimentary with 21st century artistic, scientific and technological skills.

There is much more than just teacher centred instruction, the student must be the centre of learning and involve the "4 Cs": Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Communication.

So important are these that foreign nations that come to Africa to assist are using similar instructional parameters taught in their nations and transferring them to Africa. The issue is that African students are playing catchup because they are missing critical components. As the infrastructure is upgraded, students will improve at a rapid pace and they will be the educational, technical, and commercial leaders that are needed to take African nations into the 21st and 22nd centuries as leaders and visionaries.

"I believe it is an important developmental tool inasmuch as it is also an issue of social justice that people of this country, irrespective of their circumstances can have access to good schooling. It is important that we develop the "human capital" of our country. The policies that we have will make it possible." Matthew Opoku Prempeh is Minister designate for Education These sentiments can be shared with many African nations working to improve educational access from early childhood to higher education and even vocational education. It is important for the future of Africa when Africans can invest and re-invest in their own nations, on their own continent than waiting on others that do not have the same passion for the continent and do not have the same wish for cultural and national stability and pride.