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‘Science-phobic’: My personal experience with science

I want to share with you the story of a young Ghanaian boy called Kojo.

Born to hardworking parents, Kojo, unlike most of the children he grew up with, enjoyed extra care and support from his parents. His father, ever ready to secure a great future for this adorable young boy, did all he could to encourage him to aim high in life. So it didn’t come as a surprise when Kojo at the early age of nine began to entertain the idea of becoming a pilot in the future. His father to encourage this, took it upon himself to expose this young boy to his dream career by organizing occasional visits to the Kotoka International Airport in Accra.

Kojo held onto this vision and allowed it to guide him in everything he did until the unfortunate happened. He didn’t think it would affect him for long. It just took him by surprise!

Kojo’s inability to handle some challenges he encountered with Science in class was gradually turning into an unwarranted fear for this subject. First his performance in science dropped drastically within a very short period of time. He found his Science teacher annoying, and he fell out with mathematics which used to be one of his favourite subjects. Everything happened within a flash and Kojo, though worried, never had the opportunity to discuss his problem with his tutors.

In no time Kojo’s fear for science had become so intense that his father’s attention was drawn to his dwindling performance in a subject that should have formed the foundation for his son’s dream career. When confronted, Kojo revealed to his father how he has been struggling with Science because he found it to be very difficult and incomprehensible. In these words Kojo parted ways with his dream career, ‘Daddy, I can’t do science because it is difficult. I hate it Daddy. I am sorry. I can’t be a pilot’.

These words were heartbreaking and a turning point in my life. Yes, my life! Because I am Kojo.

I look back with regret not because I am not proud of myself for who I am today. Instead I look back with regret because my reason for falling out with science was unrealistic and unwarranted.

Dear young sister or brother, I wish I could write a letter to the young me to share with him these words of inspiration.

I know the phrase ‘Science is difficult’ is a popular one among basic school children. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out how this perception gets hold of these younger ones. We need to know and accept the fact that science is like any other course that is taught in the classroom and as such can be as interesting as any other. The fear for science is a psychological experience that emanates from a baseless perception about the nature of science as an academic discipline which doesn’t only affect your interest towards it but can also cause you to limit yourself on the numerous opportunities available to you in this world.

Science is an everyday thing and must be seen as such. Develop a positive mindset towards it. Speak to your tutors or peers anytime you encounter challenges and always remember to encourage yourself to study harder. Like I said earlier, my fear for science caused me to forgo my dream of becoming a pilot. It’s sad to know that I may not have the opportunity to fly a plane but I do not want this to happen to you. Challenge yourself and reach for higher heights.

Welcome aboard as we break the myth surrounding science.