A group calling itself the Art Teachers’ Association of Ghana(ATAG), wants the government to reconsider introducing STEAM education instead of STEM education, which is being facilitated by the Education Ministry.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education has become one very important areas the government wants to focus on to enhance the knowledge of Ghanaian students in these subject areas and also help them become more critical thinkers, innovators and help them compete in the developing economic market.
But the group says adding Arts will complete the agenda.
The group goes on to lament that they were not consulted for their inputs during the stakeholder dialogue before the implementation of STEM education.
They say no visual artist was invited to the first meeting that was held on August 10, 2021, in Accra by the Ministry. Instead, the presenters were all from Science, Maths, Technology, and Engineering backgrounds.
In a Citi News interview, Dr. Osuanyi Quaicoo Essel, National President of the Association and lecturer of Fashion and Textiles Education unit in the Department of Art Education of the University of Education, Winneba, says it is a good thing that the Ministry is going on this tangent, but the addition of Arts will enable the ordinary Ghanaian student to bring to the fore some ideas they have and help with innovations and inventions just like other countries like China and Singapore have done.
“If we look at best practices globally in advanced countries, countries where they are creating new products, innovative ones and inventing things, the pathways they are going is using STEAM education, not STEM.
“It is a good thing for the Ministry to introduce STEM education, but when we don’t add the arts, we will be lagging behind. The best way is to add the Arts, the Creative Arts, that is how we can move forward.”
Speaking on what the addition of the Art will bring, he said the scientific ideas will become materialised.
“When we add the arts, we will be able to create physical objects. For instance, if one has a scientific idea, say robotics, we have to visualize it by creating the model for that. It is the visual artists who create the model, the physicality.”
To the government, they advise that the Arts be included in the STEM education dream to be at per with the countries that are already there and have even gone ahead to introduce Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STREAM).