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06.01.2005 General News

Ministry distributes computers to training institutions

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Accra, Jan. 6, GNA - The Ministry of Education Youth and Sports (MOEYS) has distributed about 1,000 computers that were locked up in its warehouse at Tema to Technical and Youth Training Institutions nationwide for computer literacy training.

The action, which started in August last year was taken to check the deterioration of the computers, which had been sitting idle in the warehouse since 1995 when they arrived in the country. The distribution followed a directive Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Sector Minister, gave when he took along Mr Asamoah Duodu, Director of Technical and Vocational Education of the Ghana Education Service (GES), to inspect the computers.

The computers, delivered in July 1995 by an overseas donor generated a lot of controversy last two years when it was detected that they had not been distributed to the schools as intended because of some technical problems with the memory.

They were, therefore, left unattended to for years until the Ministry took a decision to hand them over to the institutions which are expected to make good use of them instead of allowing them to go to waste.

An official letter from the GES dated August 2 2004 and signed by Mr Asamoah Duodu said in part: "The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has authorised that a quantity of computers be delivered to your institution in due course.

You are by this letter requested to arrange for adequate storage facility in your institution as you wait for a team to come and work on the computers to make them operational."

According to the letter, a total of 32 technical and youth leadership training institutions throughout the country benefited from the computers.

In an interview with the GNA, Mr Baah-Wiredu said, though the computers could not be used for any intensive computer work in their present state, they could conveniently be activated by the students of the selected schools with the assistance of Information Technology (IT) professionals and put to good use at least for beginners.

Consequently, he said, a team of engineers from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) had agreed to follow up to the schools to help the students to reactivate them at no cost.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said the technical schools were selected because the students in those institutions had the basic technical skills that would be needed to repair the computers and ensure their maintenance as well. "We expect that the exercise would serve as a challenge to the students to mobilise and test their knowledge, ability, skills and expertise in making the computers useful," he noted.

"It is a real challenge to them to work hard under the supervision of the ECG officials to make the machines serviceable instead of leaving them to go waste", Mr Baah-Wiredu said.

He was also hopeful that the exercise would help resolve the controversy that had characterised the distribution and usefulness of the computers.

Beneficiary institutions are, Abetifi; Ada; Anlo; Asuansi; Bawku; Bolgatanga; Cape Coast; Wa and Kumasi Technical Institutes. The others are Accra Technical Training Centre; Kikam, Koforidua, Kpandu and Sacred Heart Technical and Vocational Institutes. The rest are, Dabokpa Technical/Vocational Institute, Asankragua, Nkoranza, Obuasi, Twene-Aamanfo and Eremon Secondary Technical Schools. The Youth Leadership Institutes are, Afienya, Greater Accra Region; Avenorpeme, Volta; Takrowase, Eastern; Asankare, Ashanti; Ajumako, Central; Ahanta, Western; Nalerigu, Northern; Fawohuyedan, Brong Ahafo; Sandema, Upper East and Issa in the Upper West Region.

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