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22.11.2010 Technology

National School ICT Connectivity Project Inaugurated

By Seth J. Bokpe - Daily Graphic
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Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centres for all colleges of education have been inaugurated throughout the country.

The projects, provided under the National School Connectivity Project cost $45,000 for each college. They were funded by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) and are equipped with computers, a projector, an Uninterrupted Power System (UPS), printers, scanners and connected to the Internet.

The facilities are aimed at making all teacher-trainees ICT proficient to support ICT education which is now an examinable subject in all basic schools.

The GIFEC was established in 2004 as an implementing agency of the Ministry of Communications to facilitate the spread of ICT use in rural Ghana to promote research and reading culture, train rural schoolchildren and teachers in the use of ICT and empower rural communities by providing access to information to help increase direct participation in development and decision making processes.

Even though ICT is a compulsory and examinable subject at the basic school level, logistical support to enhance the teaching and learning of the subject has been inadequate in schools in the rural communities particularly.

Inaugurating the project for the Akatsi College of Education in the Volta Region at the weekend, which was attended by Principals of some selected colleges of education across the country, the Deputy Communications Minister, Gideon Quarcoo, said the government remained resolute in its effort to ensure that teachers acquired the needed ICT skills to enhance subject delivery to pupils.

He said, the facilities provided for the colleges would help support and facilitate the distance education programmes being spearheaded by the University of Cape Coast.

The Deputy Minister said the country’s ICT education policy “aims at reforming the educational system to provide the right type of skills and human resource, required for developing and driving Ghana’s information and knowledge-based economy and society”.

“The policy will help raise the quality of teaching and learning and thus make education more relevant to national goals and aspirations,” Mr Quarcoo noted.

Education Minister, Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, noted that with the provision of the facility, teachers must begin to reappraise the methods by which they met children’s learning needs and match curricula to the requirements of human thought.

He said the Ministry of Education would further collaborate with the Ministry of Communication in the e-Government project to ensure that the required infrastructure platforms were put in place to connect our tertiary educational institutions.

Mr Tettey-Enyo stated that with the changing trend in education, the role of the teacher had changed as it was no longer sufficient for teachers to merely impart knowledge content.

“The teacher needs to encourage critical thinking skills, promote information literacy, and nurture collaborative working practices to prepare children for a new world in which no job is guaranteed for life, and where people would switch careers several times.”

The Administrator of the GIFEC, Mr Kofi Attor, for his part advised the colleges to maintain a high culture of maintenance to ensure that the facilities served generations to come.

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