Aviation as a course is studied post secondary but Ghana’s youngest female pilot has advocated for the introduction of an aviation-related course in schools’ curricula to mold the interest of the youth towards the industry. Audrey Maame Esi Kumwa Swatson, 21, made the call while paying a courtesy call on the Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Addah.
Ms. Kumwa Swatson went beyond the norm to live her childhood dream of becoming a pilot. Recounting her journey, she said she had to travel outside the country to become a pilot since Ghana’s educational system did not favour her dream.
“The educational system here does not support my dream to become a pilot. The norm is to finish Senior High School, then up to the University and then you find something to do.
“So looking around, there was no training school in Ghana, so I had to pursue my dream in South Africa. The aviation industry there is well grown, and it made it easier,” she stated.
With little knowledge on how the aviation industry works, she enrolled in the Mach 1 Aviation Academy in South Africa on a partial scholarship at age 18.
Having all the determination and encouragement from her parents, Audrey Maame Esi Kumwa Swatson graduated in December last year with a commercial pilot license, CPL certificate ready to fly any commercial aircraft.
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She called on government and the Ghana Education Service to include aviation-related courses in the curriculum of schools.
“They could introduce aviation-related courses, because, in flight school, we learn things like human performance, like meteorology.
“We have a bit of understanding of meteorology in Social Studies, but it is not related to the performance of the aircraft. So they could introduce aviation courses into our education system, so that growing up we know we can become pilots if we study these things,” she noted.
She admonished the youth, especially females, never to allow society to define their future. Audrey is not the first female pilot ever produced from Ghana, but having achieved such a feat at her young age, the Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Addah wants the youth to see her as a role model.