The Management of Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) in partnership with the Book Aid International has launched the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Study Hub project at the Accra Central Library.
The pilot project is also to supplement same facility being established at the Holy Trinity Cathedral Senior High School, St. Mary Senior High School and Kinbu Senior High Technical School aimed at preparing young people, especially female students to take up careers in STEM subjects to enable them contribute to building the country.
Mr Hayford Siaw, the Executive Director, GhLA speaking at the launch, said the Authority as part of the year of Reading also wants to support government's agenda on promoting of STEM education in Ghana.
He said the Authority approached Book Aid International with support from Aggreko, an Energy and Power Supply Company, for funding to establish STEM study Hubs within two of the country's libraries (Accra and Koforidua Regional Libraries).
He said within each of these regions, three Senior High Schools would also be selected to benefit from the establishment of a STEM Study Hub with one of them being a girl's school.
Mr Siaw said the partners have acquired for these schools STEM study materials from the United Kingdom and also some from Ghana that were going to be made available in the libraries and the selected schools
He said Book Aid International has sent a total of 5,000 books, which would be distributed among the two libraries and the selected senior high schools and locally published books have also been acquired to be distributed.
Mr Siaw said already they have taken a baseline study where they understand the current performance rate of all the Senior High Schools that were been targeted and so the ideal was that after a period of one to two years, they should be able to see an improved performance and that was how they could be able to measure the project.
He expressed the hope that next year, they would be able to expand the project to other regions to include more schools.
Mr Siaw said as part of the impact, they want to see high performance in the STEM subjects and want to see more young people entering into the University to pursue Science related courses and that would be an instrument to measure the success of the project.
He urged the students to take advantage of the STEM study materials been provided to the schools to improve on their performance in these subjects and pursue careers relating to Science.
Madam Samantha Thomas-Chuula, the Head of Programmes at Book Aid International, said the organisation is pleased to support the launch of the first pilot project in Ghana.
She said Book Aid International runs projects builds the capacity of librarians and teachers to support people and communities as they access books and read.
Madam Thomas-Chuula said STEM study Hub was one of these projects and the Hub in Ghana represents the first collaborative project venture with the GhLA and the latest project to be funded by Aggreko.
She said while career opportunities in STEM fields were increasing across Africa, many schools do not have the skilled teachers, resources or school libraries to help students develop these crucial skills.
Madam Thomas-Chuula said "as a result many young people are falling short of the required skills levels for the modern workplace."
She said girls in particular would benefit from the STEM study Hub as it targets a number of all-girl schools and the specially developed revision support guide included examples of women, who were succeeding in STEM fields.
"Our world is changing fast and science and technology sit at the forefront of that change and to be ready to take full opportunity of the benefits science and technology can bring, we need to support students as they engage with their STEM subjects," Madam Thomas-Chuula said.
She said encouraging girls, who may experience pressure to not pursue STEM careers was a positive feature of the project.
Miss Manuella Coffie, a Third Year Student of St. Mary Girls Senior High, who aspires for a career in Science, expressed gratitude to the Authority and its partners for the introduction of the STEM hub.
She said the hubs would greatly improve the performance of students preparing to take their final examination.