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03.09.2004 General News

Students, teachers trained in computer refurbishment

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Afienya (G/A), Sept. 3, GNA - More than 30 Ghanaian students and teachers from various technical schools on Thursday completed a training programme in computer refurbishment.

Garfield Technology Academy in Seatle, USA, whose staff conducted the weeklong training programme, donated the 350 used computers to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

Participants who came from technical institutes from Kumasi, Accra, Kpando, Kukurantumi, Bawku, Takoradi and Afienya Youth Leadership Training Institute were taken through the creation of a refurbishing centre.

Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, said the desire to replicate in Ghana what other nations had benefited from using ICT to power their educational system was a dramatic forward match in the Government's efforts at reviewing all aspects of the educational system to make it more responsive to the country's development needs.

He said the local market value of the computers was about 950 million cedis with an average unit cost of approximately 2.715 million cedis.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said new participants to the programme would send to their schools 10 refurbished computers.

He said the United Nations ICT Taskforce and the Global Schools and Communities Initiative was developing a plan dubbed the Ghana Schools and Community Initiative to guide the general incorporation of ICT into the school curriculum.

"We are, therefore, committed to help bridge the knowledge and digital divide in Ghana by creating an information and communications technology literate workforce and helping students and teachers as well as the community to realise their full potential" he said.

He said whilst science and technology were changing at an amazing rate, the same could not be said about the classrooms, which have remained basically "chalk and board" affair with students seated in rolls copying volumes ready to dish them out, if possible, verbatim during final examination.

Technology has not affected the classroom of many institutions in developing countries, he said.

To achieve a new school environment, teachers needed not only formal training, but also sustained and ongoing support from their colleagues to help them to learn how best to integrate technology into their teaching.

Teachers needed to be able to transform their classrooms into dynamic, student centred learning environments in which learners interacted with peers in teams, both in their own classroom as well as with virtual classes around the world through the Internet. Mr Joe Appiah-Kusi, Policy Advisor Global Health, Education, Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs of the Academy, who led the group, said it was on mission to teach the youth in developing communities worldwide how to compete in a global information technology-based economy through used computers, software networking technology and training.

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