Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Foundation launched the maiden (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) STEM Quiz at Akroma Plaza in Takoradi.

The aim of the exercise is to excite and whip up students’ interest in STEM.

The competition which will involve Primary and Junior High School (JHS) pupils and students respectively from the 22 districts within the Western Region, will kick start at the district level on May 21, 2018, at Adabokrom and Bibiani simultaneously.

The winners from the district level will compete for Zonal championship and the victors will fight for the ultimate diadem at the regional level.

At the end of the exercise, 100 pupils and students will be selected to form the GNPC Digital Academy to benefit from training in coding and software development at the Accra Digital Center.

The Executive Director for GNPC Foundation, Dr Kwame Baah-Nuakoh, stressed that the STEM QUIZ has been instituted to increase pupils and students interest in the study and pursuit of STEM at the basic level for national development.

The competition will provide a platform that would become a tool for assessing the growth in the knowledge of the educands in STEM.

He maintained that the future of oil and gas industry is artificial intelligence and we need to prepare our children in the Western Region for it.

He stated that technology defines the extractive sector and continues to shape the industry making it imperative now more than ever, to introduce standard technical training for all Ghanaians.

On his part, the President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs who doubles as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for GNPC Foundation, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II embraced the exercise and applauded the Foundation for coming out with such an initiative.

He said the academic performance level of students within the Region especially in science is abysmal as compared to their peers in Ashanti, Eastern, Greater Accra and Brong Ahafo Regions.

Ogyeahohoo Gyebi II said the whole region can only boast of two grade ‘A’ Schools as compared to eight in Ashanti and Eastern Regions and he believes that accounts for students’ poor show in STEM Examinations.

He urged the Chiefs and other stakeholders to show total commitment towards the achievements of the set goals for the project.

The Deputy Western Regional Minister, Gifty Kusi who has been instrumental right from its inception with regards to the organization, commended GNPC for choosing Western Region for the maiden STEM challenge.

She stated that the Region has become the home for GNPC’s highly tech-based activities and thus need to invest in the development of local capacity to ensure that the indigenes also earn a legitimate stake in Ghana’s oil and gas extractive business.

She appealed to all the Municipal and District Assemblies as well as the Regional and District Directorates of Education to support the programme to make it a success.