Siemens, a global technology giant, has made a commitment to put up a science laboratory for the Shia Senior High Technical School (SSHTS) in the Ho Municipality.
The company, represented by a 16-member team of Siemens Staff from seven nations, fundraised 18,500 Euros to finance the project. The team, called the Siemens CSR (“Corporate Social Responsibility”) Team, constitutes individuals from Siemens offices in the seven nations.
A statement from the company said the group’s aim was to help the infrastructural deprived school to improve upon its science education and enable students to have hands-on science practical lessons.
The project will be handed over to the administration of the school upon completion.
At a durbar of stakeholders at Shia to mark the near-completion of the project, the team leader, Tim Richter, said the project was crucial to mark a path to facilitate a better future for the students.
“We have all done several individual fundraising activities to finance this project, to build together with you, the students of Shia, a new science laboratory and it has been a lot fun for us. We will follow up the development of the Shia school very closely and see how the new science laboratory is improving your lives,” he said.
“The beauty of this project is that we work with students and the teachers in the community. It’s really a matter of we-all-do-it-together,” Tim said, adding that there were plans to replicate the gesture in other deprived communities in Africa.
The Deputy Minister in charge of Second Cycle Institutions, Dr. Adu Twum, who graced the occasion, applauded Siemens for the initiative and their interest to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the country.
“The government is in to support any organization that is in support of STEM education and we appreciate the work of Siemens. We’ll facilitate any partnership between any school and Siemens so that other schools will have similar science laboratories,” he said.
He reiterated the importance of STEM education and called on private entities to support government in order to create a pipeline of STEM practitioners as STEM education was key to the transformation of the country.
Mr. Joy Kafui Akpebu, Headmaster of SSHTS, said the project was very valuable to the School, seeing the challenges posed by the non-existence of a science lab.
“It is my greatest joy to have seen this project. Since the school was established, my students have had to travel to nearby schools, about 25 kilometers away from here to access science laboratories. Even with that, the visit happens only once before they go in to write their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). So, most of them are not familiar with the science apparatus,” he stated.
Mr. Akpebu assured the Siemens team that to guarantee proper use and maintenance of the lab, students will be monitored and supervised to ensure they take good care of the apparatus.
The Shia Senior High Technical was established 25 years ago and integrated into the assisted secondary school system in 2010 but has been challenged with inadequate facilities to aid academic work.
Members of the Siemens CSR Team all work in different country locations of the same department called Siemens CFA (Corporate Controlling and Finance – Assurance). The team was in Ghana for the first time in 2013, where they built two classrooms for Maranatha Primary School in Ada Foah.