NSMQ winners failed global competition because they didn't know equipment - Dr. Kaufmann
Students in Ghana at all levels, no matter how smart or intelligent are usually handicapped when they meet counterparts from western countries because they are faced with the reality of inability to recognize equipment and how to operate them, host of the National Science and Maths Quiz Dr. Elsie Kaufmann has said.
The Biomedical Engineering Lecturer at the University of Ghana stated that in her experience as a tutor, she had observed that a lot of the times, students are unable to translate the theories and ideas into practicality.
“…we have too many of our inputs (students from the high schools) and they come and including the very ones that sit with me on stage. They are the best and the brightest, and yet something is wrong with their education because they’re not able to translate all those theories, wonderful ideas and foundation into useful outcomes,” she lamented
Speaking as a guest on the Kweku Sintim Misa (KSM) Show, Dr. Kaufmann recounted quite a touching experience shared by winners of the 2018 National Science and Maths Quiz during a visit to the President.
She stated that the students told President Akufo-Addo that they had failed to excel in an international science competition hosted in Portugal because they couldn’t recognize and understand the equipment which they had been presented with. They noted that despite all the knowledge and theories they possessed, they were rendered useless.
“…just recently the winners of the 2018 National Science and Maths Quiz went to see the President and I was there. And the young men, one of them spoke eloquently. They had been in a competition in Portugal…, but they couldn’t do the competition, they didn’t understand it because they couldn’t even understand and recognize how the equipment they were given worked. The young man said they can tell you everything about the theories, they can describe and explain everything but they cannot apply anything…” she narrated.
She called for a change in the approach in the education of the youth at the various levels in order to translate potential ideas into useful products which can solve the country’s problems.