Ghana’s first female Nuclear Engineer Ekua Mensima has blamed Mathematics as being a threat to the dreams of aspiring young female scientists in Ghana.
The 32 year old award winning scientist told GAEC Press in an interview that, though Mathematics is “an easy to understand” subject it not been fairly handled in schools with respect to delivery.
Ekua, who is currently with the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) at the Nuclear Safety Department, holds a Mater Degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Ghana Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Science. (GSNAS)
According to her, students are given an extremely weak foundation in mathematics right from pre-school to senior high school level hence resulting in low interest in science especially among female students.
She expressed worry at the fact that, many are still being discouraged from perusing science with an erroneous perception that mathematics is difficult. This she said tends to drive more females away from becoming scientists.
Presenting her case on other challenges, she mentioned gender inequality as another thought-provoking factor.” “A situation where women are seen as custodians of the kitchen is highly demotivating. Most women are faced with inferiority complex situations and this causes them to drop science for fear of their future. “
“Being the only female students in my class, I was not given a fair treatment by one of my lecturers who thought i don’t belong to the science class and as a result, i mostly cry to express my pain. She revealed.
Ekua hinted that, perusing science in Ghana’s University is relatively expensive hence depriving most brilliant but needy female students the opportunity to further. She was thankful to her single parent mother who supported her financially and encouraged her when she almost gave up.
Madam Mensima who is currently a mother of two disclosed that, family responsibility also has a way of pushing women away from choosing science. Using her two children as point of reference, she believes that, she could have advanced beyond her current position if not for the necessary breaks. She acknowledged the support of her husband who has encouraging her to pursue her PHD.
She believes that, women in science play a one hundred and five percent (105%) role than men and must be given the needed push to realize their dreams. “Women are assets on every field and must be encouraged to pursue science. I am confident that, women in science have a bright future since the number of enrolment in graduates schools have increased. “
She appealed to the Ghana Education Service to invest more into grooming good mathematics teachers who can give students solid foundation in mathematics.
By: Pricilla Asare