The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Prof. Mrs. Esi Awuah, has admitted that the study of Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in the country has been low and it is a course for concern.
Prof. Mrs. Awuah made this known during the Maiden Female Scientist Career Advance Summit held in the Brong Ahafo Regional capital (Sunyani), which was under the theme: “Advancing My Career as a Female Scientist.”
Prof. Mrs. Esi Awuah, who is an executive board member of the Organization For Women In Science For The Developing World- told GhanaCelebrities.Com’s Kofi Oppong Kyekeyeku in an interview that the organization will take it upon itself to encourage women because they tend to be timid due to how the Ghanaian culture looks down on them.
She expressed worry on how women fail to take initiatives—and are always left looking up to men.
“We want women who are in Senior High Schools, women in science who are already teaching and working with other organizations, to take the bull-by-the-horn and aim high—the sky should be the limit for every woman.”
The Vice-Chancellor called on women who are in higher positions to mentor the younger ones in order for them to learn from them.
According to her, the organization has plans to come out with a yearly mentoring program to bring the role models of these young women into their lives.
“What the organization wants to do is to build them up whilst they are young,” she stressed.
Prof. Mrs. Esi Awuah bemoaned the fact that the science labs and facilities in the various institutions are not adequate, and called for the provision of centralized laboratories.
“If I look at our current laboratory situations, they are not really adequate in comparison to the others. But you see, now we have virtual labs, virtual labs are the labs that you don’t see—but you can see them through the internet and video conferencing.
“I want to say that we are running out of resources, so we cannot have good science laboratories in all the schools, we need to have centralized laboratory where we have very state of art equipment so that students from other schools can go to this central laboratory and learn. It is the same and by so doing, we cut down on resources,” she said.
The Vice-Chancellor opined that awarding lecturers and teachers for their contributions will help boost the morale of others.
“Also, we must reward hard working lectures and teachers who are very good in teaching and encouraging the young people to study mathematics, [and] science, and lecturers who have developed patents- we need to reward them because they have come out with innovations that everybody sees.
“They have to be rewarded through prizes, I think this nation started, I think in 2011 there was science award for the Best Researcher in Water, Environment and Sanitation and I’m happy to say that I won the silver prize. It was a good thing but since then, I haven’t heard anything about it again. I think it shouldn’t end there, it should continue to serve as a motivation for the young ones who are coming.”
She further stated that it is a challenge for women to venture into the study of Science and Technology, citing that; “The study of the subject has not incorporated gender main streaming within it. If you take things like mechanical engineering and civil engineering, I think that some of the equipment must be ego metrically designed to suit the woman, so that the woman will have interest and not stress herself when practicing some of these.”