Ghanaian teacher using sketched word processing screen goes viral

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

School children in rural Ghana and some deprived parts of that country continue to receive basic ICT education mainly from sketches on chalkboards and other form of ingenious means deployed by their benevolent teachers. No matter how hard this might seem true to believe the fact is, it’s true!

A recent picture taken of a teacher using a sketched Microsoft Word Processing Window on a chalkboard to teach his pupils ICT lesson which has gone viral on various social media platforms in Ghana does not only confirms the challenges these teachers goes through due to the lack of available ICT tools but also paints a gloomy picture of how millions of school children in rural and deprived areas in Ghana are been denied access to quality ICT education at a very crucial stage of their lives.

Although Ghana has got a lot to show in terms of strides made in the areas of policies to drive the advancement and development of Information and Communications Technology, little can be said about how these policies are thoughtfully implemented to ensure that every sector of the Ghanaian economy benefits from it.

That is why Ghanaian teachers especially those in the countryside and deprived communities have to struggle every now and then to find innovative and ingenious ways to assist their pupils again the fundamental knowledge about ICT.

In 2008, the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Education came out with policy on ICT Education which, among other things, aimed at enabling 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 and achieve a universal basic education and improve the level of basic and computer literacy in the country to ensure a population in which all citizens are at least functionally literate and productive.

Since then there has been series of stakeholder interventions between 2009 and 2015 to fine tune the country’s ICT Policy for Education to “promote improvement in educational service delivery at all levels and create a generation of a computer literate workforce and entrepreneurs that can compete on the global level," Ghana's Education minister, Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang said.

However a latest study conducted on ICT Education in Ghana by Maxwell Opoku Peprah from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology revealed that there is lack of computers, unqualified teachers, limited practical after teaching as well as lack of internet access. According to the study these challenges were confirmed by both the teachers and the students within the various schools sampled.

The study also found that the teaching and learning of ICT in basic schools in Ghana is faced with barriers and efforts have to be put in place in order to provide the needed resources and personnel to handle the subject in the various schools. 

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