The Open University and the Ministry of Education in Ghana have launched a programme to promote the effective teaching of practical science in Senior High Schools. Open STEM Africa: Ghana, is aimed at improving practical teaching and learning of science and in particular providing support for under-qualified or inexperienced science teachers, in line with the government of Ghana’s education policy.
OpenSTEM Africa: Ghana is an innovative programme that will bring experiential learning to 148 of the lowest performing Senior High Schools (SHS) in Ghana through:
The Ghana Virtual Lab, which is a collection of on-screen science apps built on the OU’s OpenScience Laboratory technology, embedded in Ghana’s iBox and iCampus, which is currently available to 148 of the lowest performing Senior High Schools. The Virtual Lab enables science students to engage with practical science experiments onscreen. Each science app uses real scientific data to produce experimental results and is applicable to multiple lessons across the three years of the Ghana SHS curriculum.
School-based CPD for SHS science teachers provides support to help teachers develop confidence, skills and strategies to use the Virtual Lab effectively and enable improved teaching and learning in the sciences, in particular in ICT based practical science.
A school leadership programme for Heads of Science underpins the CPD and will help embed the ICT based science materials more effectively with teachers and learners. The support for school leaders, including the Headteacher, will facilitate the development of a sustainable community of practice in science within and beyond the school.
Professor Kwesi Yankah, Senior Minister of State for Tertiary Education, said:
“OpenSTEM Africa: Ghana is delivering a holistic approach to improving science teaching and learning in Senior High Schools. It is a major development that seeks to address a major challenge we have in the teaching of science and technology within our educational institutions. This project comes to facilitate the process and overcome the hurdle that we have with the availability of science lab science equipment, which is a major challenge within all the secondary schools.”
Dr Jane Cullen, Senior Lecturer in Leadership and International Development and OpenSTEM Africa: Ghana Academic Director, commented:
“OpenSTEM Africa:Ghana is an opportunity for the OU WELS and STEM faculties to work together in support of the Government of Ghana and in collaborative partnership with key Ghanaian government agencies such as CENDLOS to provide innovative, interactive and engaging solutions to improving the study of the sciences at scale in Ghana.”
Feature image from the launch event at the Ministry of Education HQ in Accra, Ghana on Thursday 17 October: L-R: Olivier Biard (OU IDO), Kris Stutchbury (OU WELS), Kerry Murphy (OU STEM), Eric Addae-Kyeremeh (OU WELS) Dr Adutwum (MoE, Deputy Minister of Education), Prof. Yankah (MoE Senior Minister of State for Tertiary Education), Jane Cullen (OU WELS), Joshua Mallet (MoE, Director CENDLOS), Wilhelmina Asamoah (MoE, Director Administration), Olivia (MoE National Science Resource Centre), and Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah (senior education advisor and long-time associate of the OU) at the launch of OpenSTEM Africa: Ghana
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