Learning ICT with stones - is Ghana paying lip service to ICT education?
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
A surprising video has gone viral on all social media platforms in Ghana, where a class Six teacher at the Assin Asamankese D/A Primary School in the Central Region is captured on camera inventing a new method of teaching Information Communication Technology class (ICT) with the use of stones in absence of a real computer - either desktop or laptop.
Unfortunately for these rural pupils whose school is located some 3 hours’ drive away from the capital city Accra, if they don’t take their lesson seriously, they will have a hard time writing their final examinations that will enable them to progress to the next stage of their educational ladder which is Junior High.
According to Augustine Kusi who is the teacher, pupils in the ICT class make do with stones because the only computer in the school broke down about four years ago.
Ten years ago the government of Ghana formulated a policy that would guide the development of ICT in the country and its mission according to the polict document was to articulate the relevance, responsibility and effectiveness of utilizing Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the education sector, with a view to addressing current sector challenges and equipping Ghanaian learners, students, teachers and communities in meeting the national and global demands of the 21st Century.
It said its fundamental objective will be to ensure that the Ghanaian education sector provides adequate opportunities for Ghanaians to develop the necessary skills, regardless of the levels of education (formal and non-formal), to benefit fully from the Information Society; and also enable graduates from Ghanaian educational institutions – formal and non-formal - to confidently and creatively use ICT tools and resources to develop requisite skills and knowledge needed to be active participants in the global knowledge economy by 2015.
However in 2009 the government entered into an agreement with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) to purchase 10,000 XOs, following an initial pilot of 100 laptops. The initiative was to develop the capacity of Ghanaian youth and enhance the usage of computers in schools.