The International Perspective for Policy & Governance (IPPG) hosted a ‘Careers in Science Forum’ at St. Mary’s Senior High School in Accra to commemorate the 2019 International Day of Women and Girls in Science (IDWGS) on February 11. The forum presented a platform for science students of the school to be exposed to various fields and professions in science that they could explore after their secondary education.
The UN in response to long-standing biases and gender stereotypes that steers girls and women away from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related fields declared February 11, as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in 2015. The day is to serve as a major conduit to achieve a full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
In Ghana, statistics and information available from the Science, Technology and Mathematics Education Unit of the Ministry of Education indicates that although a significant number of girls study science in high schools, the numbers reduce as they progress to the tertiary level with a further reduction at the post graduate level.
Careers in Science Forum.
The IPPG organized ‘Careers in Science Forum’ brought together female professionals from various STEM related fields as resource persons who inspired the young female science students and also interacted with them on a number of issues including their experiences, success stories, challenges and prospects in their current fields of work as well as the courses they studied at the tertiary level and other career prospects from their respective courses of study.
The resource persons included Ms. Estelle Jacqueline Asare, Senior Manager for Commercial Enablement at MTN Business, Mrs. Grace Asante Opoku, Lead Installation Engineer of GNPC-Technip Engineering Limited and Ms. Josephine Ohenewa Bampoe, Speech/Language Therapist and Clinical Tutor at the School of Biomedical & Allied Health Sciences of the University of Ghana.
The rest are Ms. Maa Terterkie Bajo Ofei, Transmission Planning Engineer with MTN Ghana, Ms. Naa Nuerki Adumoah, a Biochemist, Ms. Lois Afua Okyerewaa Damptey, a Graduate Student of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering of the University of Ghana and Dr. Joannishka Dsani, Veterinary Doctor and Head of Veterinary Services at Cowtribe with Dr. Janice Lovi, a Resident Physician of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital as forum host and moderator.
The resource persons also seized the opportunity to encourage the students to study hard and make the best of their time as students of the prestigious St. Mary’s School. Mentorship relations were also created between the students and the resource persons who will continue to engage, encourage and inspire them to build careers in STEM.
Satisfaction by Students.
Expressing their satisfaction with the knowledge gained from the Forum, the students were pleased with the opportunity to learn about other career options apart from medicine and pharmacy which seem to be the ultimate for science students at the secondary level, for which one is considered a failure if he or she does not end up with medicine or pharmacy after secondary school.
IPPG has been the lead nonprofit and policy think tank spearheading the celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in Ghana. According to Mr. Moritz Garbrah Yankah, IPPG’s Programs Director, the organization hopes to roll out a series of initiatives including the ‘Careers in Science Forum’ across the country and also continue its advocacy dialogues for policies to achieve a full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls in Ghana.
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