A young Ghanaian student has caught the attention of UNESCO on her dreams to become a doctor despite the odds of poverty and lack of access stacked against her.
Bernice Impraim, like many young girls in Ghana, are held back by gender norms, biases or expectations that influence the subjects they study and challenges they can take on.
UNESCO, the United Nation's body that oversees the development of education, science and culture, is however partnering with the government of Ghana to see the dreams of Impraim materialise.
Impraim was quoted as saying: “I wanted to be a doctor since my childhood but I was afraid of science because I mostly hear many people say it is difficult, and that I will abandon at some point.”
As a result of the dream of Impraim and others, UNESCO is investing with governments into science, technology, engineering and mathematics, a quadruple subject area known as STEM.
To engage more girls like Impraim in STEM-related courses in secondary and higher levels of education, UNESCO in partnership with the Girls’ Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service organises quarterly STEM clinics.
These one-day STEM events, get the girls build their skills and interact with female scientists. It is held in three districts to encourage more involvement as the participation rate of girls in STEM courses is low.
Impraim felt inspired after attending the STEM clinic and said:“Before, I did not have anyone to encourage me and explain the opportunities that I have”.
“But at the STEM clinic, I received support from the facilitators and decided to study science regardless of the negative views I heard.”
“Now I am confident to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor,” she added.
The STEM clinics have reportedly made a positive impact on many girls like Impraim to engage in STEM studies and follow their dreams of becoming doctors, scientists or engineers.
The expectation is that the success stories will soon be realised.
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