The Jackson Institute of Innovation and Leadership (JILL) marked this year’s International Youth Day with students of Konongo Odumase Senior High School, as part of its efforts to mentor young people to be innovative.
The day is set aside annually by the United Nations (UN) to empower the youth across the globe to contribute positively to their communities and nations.
It is in line with this objective that JIIL chose to mark the day with students of Konongo Odumase Senior High Students to challenge the students to work hard as future leaders to achieve their full potentials and develop the capacity to solve problems through academic training.
The theme for the celebration was, “Nurturing Tomorrow’s Leaders Today to Solve Critical National Issues.”
The Minister for Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, as the keynote speaker announced that the Ministry of Education was vigorously pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education to equip learners with 21st-century skills.
He said the goal of the STEM programme is to nurture students from the basic level to be creative and critical thinkers so as to drive the country to economic prosperity beyond foreign aid.
The Education Minister said STEM education is expected to prepare the critical mass of empowered Ghanaians for national development and also become competitive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The Ministry, he said, is building 11 model state-of-the-art STEM SHSs across the country, each of which shall be equipped with 12 laboratories. In addition, a STEM pathway would be established in some existing SHSs which would benefit from four additional laboratories, he noted.
On the Free Senior High School Policy, Dr Adutwum said the policy was introduced in order not to truncate the education of young people for any reason.
He said the youth are at the centre of everything the Akufo-Addo-led government does and urged the students to justify the huge investments being made by the government to make education accessible to all, irrespective of one’s financial status.
“As a government, we are committed to all of you through the free SHS programme and have promised not to allow any young person to be a dropout because of poverty,” he assured the students.
Various resource persons took turns to address the students.
Mrs Theodosia Jackson, Principal of Jackson College of Education and Co-chair of JILL also entreated the students not to be distracted by peer pressure and concentrate on their education to achieve the ultimate goal of making good grades.
She reminded them that the world stands on the brink of a technological revolution that would fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to each other.
She underscored the need to grasp the opportunity and power we have to shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution and direct it toward a future that reflects our common objectives and values as students and Ghanaians in the build-up to the 21st century.
“We must develop a comprehensive and globally shared view of how technology is affecting our lives and reshaping our economic, social and human environments, “she posited.
She further counselled the youth in secondary and tertiary institutions to be creative and innovative with the use of technology for self-advancement and the betterment of Ghana as a whole.