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27.10.2008 Technology

2.9m Pupils To Get Computers

By Francis Xah - newtimesonline.com

Atotal of 2,990,773 pupils in public basic schools throughout the country are to benefit from the  “Computer for Every Child” project introduced by the late Finance Minister, Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu.

The government voted GH¢3 million in the 2008 budget to be used to buy 10,000 laptops from “One Laptop Per Child Association, Inc (OLPC) in the USA, and the first batch of 2000 XO laptops will arrive by the end of  November for distribution to the children.

The computers would be free for every school-going child in public schools, from classes one to six, in conformity with Ghana's policy of free basic compulsory education.

President J. A. Kufuor recently renamed the  “Computer for Every Child Project” after Mr Baah-Wiredu for the immense role he played to bring the project to fruition.

The “Baah-Wriedu Computer for Every Child” project is meant to enhance the knowledge and promote education amongst the school children.

The 'Times' on Thursday, interviewed Dr  (Mrs) Agatha Nketia , a Director of the “Baah-Wiredu Computer for Every Child Project” at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

Excerpts:

Q: Whose idea was this?

Ans: The Baah-Wiredu Laptop Per Child is a joint project among the Ministries of Education, Communications and Finance.  It is an initial idea from another developing country, where the late Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, the late Hon. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, got to know of at a conference he attended.

Upon his return he discussed with the then Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Hon. Papa Owusu Ankomah to see how best the programme can be implemented in Ghana. 

Since then (until his death), he has been a relentless advocate of the programme.

Q: How will the distribution be done?

Ans: GES data shows Central Region to have the worst grades in basic schools, followed by Eastern Region. 

The first phase, scheduled to commence in November 2008, will cover the 10 sites in Central and five in Eastern regions and part of Ashanti Region (Asante Akim North).

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