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30.07.2004 Education

Ghana makes inroads into ICT in education.

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From Yaa Oforiwah Acquah GNA Correspondent Abuja-Nigeria

Abuja, July 30, GNA - Ghana is making inroads in the introduction of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into Education, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Education said in Abuja.

Mr Wiredu said some of the basic schools in almost all the district capitals have ICT while most private schools no matter their location whether in the rural or urban setting have ICTs commonly called the computer centres.

For example, he said, Data Link, an ICT company is linking various schools in the Tano District of the Brong Ahafo Region to the computer and the Internet.

Mr Baah-Wiredu was briefing the Ghanaian press on the ICT status in Ghana at the Ministerial Conference on the Integration of ICT in Education currently taking place in Abuja, the Nigerian Capital. The conference which ends today was jointly organised by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the Nigerian government.

Education Ministers from the West African Sub-Region ICT experts and the donor Community are attending the conference which is on the theme: "Integration of ICT in Education - Issues, challenges and Infrastructure".

The Minister said over 300 out of the 476 senior secondary schools (SSS_ in the country have one form of ICT facility while all the 38 teacher training colleges are being hooked on the ICT.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said the ministry had already entered into an agreement with a Senator of the Michigan State in the United States to provide computers to Ghana from which the first batch would be arriving in August this year.

The ministry is deliberately supplying computers to all teacher training colleges this year and the training colleges would be the first to benefit from this consignment to well equip the teachers to enable them to use and teach with, he said.

Meanwhile, 500 fairly used computers for the secondary schools have been received rom the Global Technology Academy from Seattle in the United States for distribution to SSS after refurbishing them at the Afienya Youth Leadership Institute.

In addition to all these, the Government of Ghana has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Microsoft on the Partners in Learning Programme on March 6, 2004 to provide schools in the country with software to upgrade the operating systems.

"All we need now is to improve upon the technology base and to provide power supply especially to community which are not connected to electricity. The need for an alternative power supply like solar, biogas and wind-generated energy are being discussed to ensure that the various computer centres work according to their specifications.

The Minister said the computers are purposely for education and are programmed for that purpose.

The Education Financing Bank will help push these steps up to help Ghana reach its ultimate goal of integration ICT in the educational programme, he added.

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