Eighty-two girls from basic schools in West Mamprusi and Mamprugu Moaduri districts in the northern region are taking part in this year’s Science, Technology and Mathematics Education (STME) programme.
STME is a programme implemented by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) under the Tackling Educational Needs Inclusively project which is committed to the promotion of human rights and in particular economic and social rights, social justice for all, with focus on people suffering from marginalization and powerlessness.
ISODEC in collaboration with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) has implemented an educational project dubbed: TENI in West Mamprusi and Mamprugu Moaduri districts since 2009. The overall goal of the project is to improve pupils, particularly girls’ transition from primary to junior high school (JHS) and their retention, performance and completion rates. TENI engages multiple stakeholders and builds on best practices to tackle underlying causes that prevent children from performing and completing basic education.
The project was implemented in five districts in northern Ghana, namely; West Mamprusi, Mamprugu Moaduri , Talensi/Nabdam and Jirapa districts through four core partners: ISODEC, Link Community Development (LCD) and PRONET NORTH respectively and other supporting partners with funding from Comic Relief.
This is the first time that the five days Girls science clinic was organized in Tamale specifically at the Tamale Senior High School (TAMASCO) to enable the girls experience and practice in science laboratories that are believed to be modern and standard. It was on the theme: Developing Responsible Future Women Leaders through Science Education-the role of Stakeholders.
The objective of the science clinic is to help increase the interest, desire and participation of girls in science, mathematics and ICT technology through practical experience in the various laboratories and classroom discussions, in addition to tours of places of interest. The Girls clinic is also intended to help promote government policy and objective of ensuring quality and effective female participation in science courses and programmes.
There are some takeaways from the Girls clinic. In implementing the TENI project, it is evident that grooming, modelling and coaching students towards making them competent, confident and responsible leaders is an effective tool.
Towards this end, it is critical for government and the Ghana Education Services (GES) to introduce grooming, modelling and coaching in schools to give effective guidance to students in respect of the skills, professions and competence needed to make them future leaders.
One goal of the clinic is to bring women models to share their experiences with the girls to encourage them to learn, pass their exams and become professionals in future. What is more, the aim of the clinic is to bring many girls from rural and hard to reach areas of the project operating districts to learn and experience urban life. Throughout the clinic the Girls will have the opportunity to experience good modern laboratories and possibly touch or enter an airplane and also learn more about the army.
Madam Agnes A. Gandaa is the Coordinator for ISODEC. Addressing participants at the launch of the programme, the district director of Education for West Mamprusi, Hajia Mase Sulemana called on all stakeholders to put all hands on deck to ensure women acquire the necessary education for a prosperous future.
Some of the pupils who shared their expectations about the five day clinic were optimistic that after the clinic they would have developed the interest in science and mathematics. They also expressed their happiness to ISODEC and VSO for their intervention in the girl child education in the rural areas.
By: LILIAN WALTER DABORIKUU