Mr Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, has urged science teachers to strive harder to find innovative and practical ways of teaching the subject, to demystify the fears of students in learning the subject.
“We need to adopt practical and innovative ways of teaching science in our schools. Many students shy away from it because of the perception that science is difficult,” he emphasized.
Mr. Issahaku who said this during the launch of the National Science Week celebration of the Ghana Association of Science Teachers (GAST) in Wa, noted that once a student understood science as a practical course, he/she would even enjoy it better.
“Indeed, science is more practical than the humanities, but teaching it sometimes makes it a phantom,” he pointed out. “In many respects some of our teachers make the teaching of science so theoretical that one need to be imaginative to be able to follow,” he emphasized.
The Deputy Regional Minister said realizing that the teaching and learning of science and technology education was central to the achievement of national development aspirations, government had put in place a number of measures to improve the teaching and learning of science and technology.
“We are focused on supporting the national policy of achieving 60:40 student ratio for the sciences as compared to the humanities by expanding Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) scholarship schemes and provide incentives and support for accredited private tertiary institutions to establish schools and faculties of science and technology,” he said.
Mr. Issahaku assured that government would ensure that well-trained, confident and contented teachers would be placed at the heart of delivery of quality education. He said the views of teachers would be sought on education policy innovation and implementation, adding that teachers’ professional development and work environment needed would be treated with respect.
“We shall ensure that teachers’ salaries and allowances are paid regularly and on time. Government will also focus on the provision of incentives that will motivate teachers, and reward their hard work in the classroom,” Mr. Issahaku noted.
Dr. Paul Kwame Nkegbe, a Lecturer at the Faculty of Integrated Development Studies (FIDS) of the Wa campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS), noted that using innovative methods of teaching and learning in educational institutions had the potential to improve education.
It would also empower people, strengthen governance and galvanize national effort to achieve the human development goal for the country, he added. Some innovative methods of teaching proposed by Dr. Nkegbe included multimedia technology, mind maps, teaching and learning with sense of humour, the Z-A approach and the role playing and scenario analysis based teaching.
He however highlighted that the project based approach which was seen as a dynamic student-centered pedagogy presenting students with the opportunity to explore and find solutions to real world problems should be adopted.
This year’s national science week celebration is on the theme: “Practical and Innovative Ways of Teaching and Learning of Science and Technology”.