Agona Nkwanta (W/R), May 25, GNA – As part of efforts to invest in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, Tullow Ghana Limited has built the capacity and skills of some Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates in the Nzema East Municipality.

The programme is in line with Tullow Ghana Limited’s three-year Educate to Innovate With STEM project being implemented by Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF), a youth focused group for positive development.

Educate to Innovate with STEM, has the primary goal of improving the performance of students in the core subjects of Science and Mathematics at the BECE and West African Secondary Certificate Examination (WASCE) by 50 per cent.To augment this, YBF through a Science Clinics and BECE Orientation roadshow is promoting and inspiring students’ interest in STEM education across the six Coastal Districts of the Western Region namely; Shama, Sekondi-Takoradi, Ahanta West, Nzema East, Ellembelle and Jomoro targeting mainly basic and Senior High Schools. 

To this end, 108 BECE candidates, made up of 58 males and 50 females, from the Axim Methodist School, Akonu District Assembly (D/A) School and Ahle-Sunna Junior High School (JHS) all in the Nzema East Municipality have undergone a two-day seminar to upgrade, and prepare themselves adequately for their upcoming Examination slated for June 4 – June 8.The seminar marks the third phase of the six in a series District roadshow in the Western Region.During the seminar, it was discovered that Akonu D/A School would be presenting only 12 candidates for the exams and out of the number, nine would be males whiles the remaining three would be females.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Maxwell Quarm, the Assistant Headmaster of Akonu, explained that, the small representation of candidates by the school was as a result of school dropout due to the deprived nature of the community.He said: “The poverty situation as well as family dependency on students where students skipped school to support their parents in farming and fishing remained a worrying trend in Akonu.” He told the GNA that, additionally, the school could only boost of few committed teachers due to its location adding that; “It is just recently that government posted some teachers here.”

Mr Eric Ebissah, the Science Teacher of Akonu, mentioned to the GNA that, the introduction of the Educate to Innovate With STEM Project had rather improved teaching and learning in the school and the Akonu community as a whole. “The special classes offered by teachers engaged in the project had boosted the confidence of the final year students for their upcoming exams,” he said. Mr Ebissah, therefore called on Tullow Ghana Limited and YBF to extend the intervention to the first and second year students of the school. 

The candidates were mentored by some Ghana Education Service officials in the municipality, WAEC officials as well as Science Technology Mathematics Innovation Education (STMIE) Coordinators within the STEM Project.

Mr Nicholas Essien, the Regional STMIE Coordinator, urged the students to aspire to achieve greater heights in education and also in their upcoming exams, while Mr Enock Asamoah, an Examination Officer, educated the students on the importance of providing their index numbers on their answer booklets adding that; “Double check on your index numbers as candidates to avoid cancellation of your papers.”

Appreciating the efforts of Tullow Ghana Limited and YBF that had built the interest and confidence level of the candidates, Mr Joseph Meizah, the STMIE Coordinator for Nzema East Municipality, encouraged the candidates to take the BECE orientation and STEM Clinics serious and prepare adequately for their exams.

Miss Edith Hazel Quayson a student of Akonu D/A JHS, on behalf of her colleagues showed appreciation to YBF and Tullow Ghana Limited and other stakeholders for the opportunity and mentoring sessions given them ahead of their exams.

Mr Fredrick Jojo Kwofie, the Project Coordinator, urged the students to make good use of the initiative to improve on their performance in Mathematics and Science.

Among some experiments the students had included; Acid Base Chemical Reaction, the identification of chemical instruments, Rectilinear Propagation of Light, and Basic Electronics at the Nsein Senior High School.

They also solved some Mathematical problems on Integers, Mapping, Data Pictograms and Data Bar.

By Elsie Appiah-Osei, GNA