ICT EDUCATION IN GHANA: A REALITY OR A MIRAGE?
Sometime around 2012, there was talk in Ghana of equipping our schools with the necessary ICT tools to enhance and promote learning in general and IT knowledge in particular. The “one teacher, one laptop” project and others similar to it were rolled out. All through 2016, various interventions with regard to achieving this goal hit our ears frequently. Among others, teachers were made to attend ICT training workshops so as to be able to effectively teach the subject and man the labs in their schools appropriately.
To this end, new school and classroom blocks have computer labs. However, what I have observed as a practising teacher is that most of the basic schools, almost ten years down the lane, still do not have ICT labs. Indeed, only a few schools can boast of ICT labs, albeit small with poor ergonomic conditions and lacking the necessary ICT tools like computers and projectors for effective teaching and learning.
Therefore, ICT teachers continue to teach using one or two computers; and where some schools are fortunate to have received a few desktops and or laptops from philanthropists, they make do with those. Where there are no computers at all, the ICT teachers make use of their private laptops or smartphones if they happen to possess one.
Consequently, ICT lessons that should be practical in nature are most often taught theoretically. When a creative ICT teacher once upon a time improvised mouse using stones so he could practicalise his lesson a bit, he was later sanctioned by the Ghana Education Service for doing so. I recall being in an ICT training workshop barely four years ago. At that workshop, participants were promised a laptop each and some cash for which our bank account details were collected. I am still waiting to receive my laptop and to be notified by my bank that the money has hit my account.
Now, amidst COVID-19, there are calls for schools to hold online lessons. Is this feasible? Assuming that COVID-19 does not end anytime soon, what shall be the fate of our schools? As I conclude this write up, a million dollar question spirals from within my heart; is ICT education in Ghana a reality or a mirage?
Source: Ebenezer Fie