The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, on Monday launched the Ghana Society for Education Technology (GSET) with the assurance that the ministry will continue to partner with credible stakeholders in the educational sector to ensure improved learning outcomes.
He lauded the role of civil society organisations and other stakeholders in the educational sector for their roles in ensuring quality, access and equity of education in the country.
The GSET is a non-profit organisation that seeks to use technology to drive the delivery of quality education in the country.
In a speech read on his behalf, he said, “the Ministry of Education will continue to partner with credible stakeholders, development partners, civil society organisations to ensure that learning outcomes of learners from Ghana’s schools are significantly improved, especially in mathematics and science.”
On the theme, “Transforming the culture of Mathematics learning and technology use in Ghana’s education,” the occasion sought to showcase science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-based technical and social innovations in every area of education and training.
The event also aimed at raising the visibility of those innovative practices so that they could be supported, up-scaled, replicated or further developed.
Dr Prempeh gave an assurance that the ministry would continue to ensure the quality of teaching and learning in mathematics and science in schools in line with the expectations and standards.
“I invite all of you to join me in making Ghana’s education system one of the best in the world,” he said, and pledged the ministry’s unflinching support to the GSET as it focused on improving teaching and learning processes through effective education technology programme development.
Speaking on the topic, “The role of Mathematics in national development,” the board Chairman of GSET, Dr Sam Awuku, said in teaching Mathematics, the teacher needed to know, understand and apply the topic before entering the classroom to teach, calling for the need to retool teachers in the sciences.
He said Mathematics was the key and bedrock to national development, of which all other subjects revolved around, urging all to embrace mathematics as a subject.
Dr Awuku blamed poor teaching methodology by teachers as the main reason for students fearing the learning of Mathematics because the mathematicians taught pure mathematics from an abstract point of view, thus making it scary.
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He said that, “mathematically-illiterate is a recipe for underdevelopment, poor economic planning, poor decision making and a recipe for moral degradation.
“So, mathematics illiteracy gives birth to other illiteracies. So, we have economic illiteracy, technology illiteracy, political illiteracy, legal illiteracy and scientific illiteracy,” Dr Awuku said.
An international academician, Prof. William K. Koomson, who chaired the launch, said the current educational reforms would not be complete if the country continued to deny students the use of smart phones.
He dismissed the perception that smart phones in the hands of the youth would encourage immorality as they would access pornography, saying that in other parts of the world little children were given smart phones to access social media, “because we are in the social media age.”
The Founder of GSET, Mr Miracule Gavor, explained that the decision for the establishment of the GSET was in appreciation of the place of technology in fostering quality delivery of education.