General News of Monday, 3 July 2017
A senior lecturer and founding head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Ghana, Dr Elsie Kaufmann, has bemoaned the approach to the teaching of science in the country’s senior high schools, saying the main focus has been to get students to pass the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
The National Science and Maths Quiz mistress was worried that science students were not being trained for life but just for examination purposes, adding: “The same students who get the As in SHS struggle in university because they are taught to write exams.”
She was not enthused that most students in “SHS are taught just to write the WASSCE”.
The biomedical scientist explained that this was evident after many years moderating the National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ), observing that “when it comes to the practical aspects of the questions, there’s a problem” and contestants find it difficult to answer.
She, however, noted: “I’m so happy when contestants answer my questions, especially the difficult ones.”
She criticised parents who put unnecessary pressure on their wards to be medical doctors explaining that there is a wide range of career opportunities for science students.
The biomedical engineer emphasised that being a medical doctor is not the only career in science and that science students need to be exposed to all the professions available to them so they pick the right careers – a reason for the incorporation of a career fair into the NSMQ.
“Someone has to be a medical doctor but if everyone wanted to be one, what happens to our nation building?” she questioned in an interview on Citi FM on Monday, July 3.