November 23, 2021

Supercharging the Next Generation of Females in Africa through STEM: Girls in Mathematical Sciences Program (GMSP) Graduates 1st Cohort

The AIMS Ghana Centre has graduated its first cohort of beneficiaries under the Girls in Mathematical Sciences Program (GMSP). The ceremony which took place on 19th November, 2021 at the AIMS Ghana Campus – East Legon Hills, saw all 35 girls from 29 senior high schools across the country receive their certificates of participation and completion. In attendance was the Deputy Minister for Education, Hon. Rev. John Ntim Fordjor, the Management and Staff of AIMS Ghana. Parents and representatives from schools also joined in the event virtually. 

Launched in November 2020 by AIMS Ghana as part of the implementation of the UNESCO Category II Agreement with the Government of Ghana, the GMSP is an exciting and challenging 9-month program created for bright, curious, and creative female high school students to unlock their potential in the mathematical sciences. The goal of the program is to mentor beneficiaries to pursue STEM careers at the highest level in research, training, and industry. The program is also designed to create a special class of students who will lead cutting-edge research and innovation. 

Speaking at the ceremony, the Deputy Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. John Ntim Fordjour. expressed excitement and enthusiasm at how zealous the girls had been to complete the 9-month program in combination with their mainstream academics, describing the GMSP as a game-changing initiative. He explained that “UNESCO had projected that in the next 30 years, there is going to be a massive expansion in access to education; more people will receive education than has ever been recorded in the history of mankind, but the Education Commission also argues that, while there may be many people receiving education, if nothing changes by the year 2030, 825 million young people will reach adulthood without the skills, necessary to thrive in today’s changing world.”  

Additionally, the Deputy Minister announced that the Government of Ghana would, as part efforts to promote STEM education, enroll the 35 AIMS GMSP beneficiaries onto scholarships to enable them to pursue their tertiary education.  

Hon. Ntim Fordjour advised the 35 girls to look into the top 10 emerging jobs and declining jobs according to the World Economic Forum to realize how important it is to build strong foundations in the Mathematical Sciences. He further stated that countries that have seen the best forms of development are those which have prioritized STEM and especially the Mathematical Sciences to provide solutions to their problems.  

He further noted that the girls had not simply gone through the program, but also, the program had gone through them, believing that in the near future, they will be the women at the helm of creative and innovative transformations that need to be seen in Ghana, within the African continent, and across the globe at large. “Having come this far, I am very confident that you will be changing the narrative and challenging the status quo. You will be an inspiration to many young girls and boys in our society and I look forward to the success stories that will come out of this program,” he said. 

Dr. Prince Koree Osei, Centre President, AIMS Ghana, in his congratulatory message to the girls reiterated that they were selected for exhibiting brilliance and excellence within their various senior high schools and in different courses including Visual Arts, Business, General Arts and General Science. “With the exposure, AIMS has given you, you should be stimulated and supercharged to bring closer the aspirations of AIMS by becoming the next generation of Africa’s Einsteins”, he indicated.  

Through the entire program, the girls were taken through online Masterclass sessions with top researchers/scientists who discussed cutting edge research in diverse fields. Residential sessions involved mini-courses such as Quantum Space-Time, Climate Change Science, Biostatistics, Stochastics as well as Quantum Information and Mathematical Problem Solving. Other activities included industrial visits to Ghana Tech Lab, and Ghana Atomic Energy Commissions (GAEC), fireside chats, universities/scholarships talk sessions with both Ghanaian and Foreign Universities among others. Each girl was also assigned a female mentor to help groom and guide them in making their career choices. These were all geared towards laying a foundation for a career in STEM. 

Ms. Adelaide Asante, COO, AIMS Ghana, thanked the Government of Ghana for funding the program. She commended Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), and the National Commission for UNESCO, for supporting the implementation of the GMSP and other programs at AIMS Ghana. She also thanked the 29 headteachers and focal persons, as well as the parents and guardians of the girls for their tremendous support during the period. 

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