Vivo Energy Ghana, the exclusive distributor and marketer of Shell-branded fuels and lubricants in Ghana, has launched the ‘Vivo Energy Community Digital Literacy Project’ to increase access to relevant educational content through technology among schoolchildren.
The pilot project is in partnership with Worldreader and the Northern Regional Library Authority, and seeks to reinforce schoolchildren’s reading skills and help mitigate the learning loss caused by schools’ closure during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana.
Mrs. Shirley Tony Kum, the Corporate Communications Manager at Vivo Energy Ghana, speaking at the launch said the project will promote Sustainable Development Goal 4 aimed at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education within the implementing area.
She said the project in its first phase will reach children in over 25 households within the Tamale Metropolis with ‘BookSmart Tablets’, trained home facilitators, and guided lesson plans to create an enabling environment for reading and learning for them. Facilitators will also take the opportunity to help sensitise households on COVID-19 protocols and the risks associated with non-compliance.
“To ensure effective implementation of the project, household facilitators have been trained and will have access to remote support through structured daily lesson plans and book title recommendations for specific targetted outcomes,” she added. Mrs. Kum indicated that Vivo Energy is committed to implementing educational initiatives which have a significant impact on the lives of schoolchildren, especially those in marginalised communities.
“As a company committed to fuelling the growth Ghana, we have and continue to implement various initiatives across the country to improve literacy rates and prepare a more secure workforce for the country’s development. Some of these initiatives include the launch of V-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to make STEM education more attractive and increase awareness about career opportunities in science and technology, especially among female students,” she said.
Other initiatives include the training of some Senior High School students in Full-Stack Web Development as a foundation for an Advanced Technical Course at Soronko Academy, Ghana’s leading technology and digital skills development centre; the launch of a one-year intensive Graduate Talent Programme at Vivo Energy Ghana for students from various universities with STEM backgrounds; and the handing-over of a renovated and furnished five-unit classroom block to the Brengo Presbyterian School in Asanti Mampong.
During the lockdown, Vivo Energy Ghana funded the rollout of an alternative e-learning platform accessible to all senior high school students in partnership with ABCDE Africa and eCampus. The company also donated 10 brand-new HP laptop computers to the Otumfuo Charity Foundation to support this year’s Otumfuo Teachers Awards scheme to build the capacity of teachers, especially those in the rural areas with limited access to resources.
Mr. David Sumbo, a Lecturer at the University for Development Studies (UDS) who was the Guest Speaker at the event, called for collaboration among stakeholders in the educational sector to ensure appropriate content is available on digital platforms for all categories of readers.
“Technology is a double-edged sword that can be used for good or bad, which is why it is very important to take a critical look at what’s available for people to read and help create the right environment them to read,” he noted.
Mr. Alhassan Abdul-Kahad, Programme Manager at Worldreader, said the Vivo Energy Community Digital Literacy Project will help to improve the literacy rate among youth and help prepare a more secure workforce that will help accelerate the country’s development.