‘‘We are no longer going to educate people just for education’s sake and getting them literate. We will build their confidence and give them soft skills to go global,” he said.
Rev Ntim Fordjour said this at the launch of 2021/2022 “For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology” (FIRST) LEGO League National Robotics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Competition in Accra on Wednesday.
This year’s competition is on the theme: ‘‘The Future of Transportation’’ (FIRST forward/Cargo Connect) and will involve public and private schools nationwide selected by the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service.
The competition engages children from the ages of 4 to 18 to embark on STEM using LEGO and other kits to solve world problems.
It also involves Senior High Schools in STEM research.
Rev Ntim Fordjour said the country had succeeded in improving access to education and now shifting to ‘‘relevance’’ to ensure that the objective of the programme was achieved.
He underscored the need for the country and Africa to imbibe in children the skills required to embrace challenges to be relevant at the global stage.
The Deputy Minister said research from World Education Forum revealed that if nothing changed by 2030, more than half of the global youth population would reach adulthood without the skills needed to thrive.
Technology, he said, continued to dominate all economies and sectors, including agricultural, education, and mining, and underscored the need to use robotics, artificial intelligence, and other sophisticated concepts to transform operations.
The Deputy Minister said, ‘‘We often hear of children who at the age of 12, 13 and 17 in some parts of the world having designed some transformational innovations,” and happy young people in Ghana were also embracing STEM and robotics in ensuring that the many challenges that the country faced in transportation, manufacturing, and other sectors were tackled.
‘‘Last year, I had the privilege of partaking in the competition and to my amazement, I saw the enthusiasm, competence, and skill with, which children from four to 18 years, explained the various projects they were undertaking, which won them some awards.’’
Mr Femi Niyi, Chairman, Board of Trustees of Coderina EdTech Foundation, said the competition was a journey, collaboration, and a ‘‘rock to shatter a thousand glass ceilings’’ for the girl child and a roadmap to engineering, and landing the first Ghanaian on the Moon and Mars.
He said it was a universal language spoken worldwide and would help mitigate poverty.