The Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana paid a 4-day visit to the Volta Region from 1st to 4th November 2022, mainly to conduct training for teachers as part of its mandate as an accredited service provider for the National Teaching Council (NTC) of the Ghana Education Service, and to deliver on its promise made to the Ho-Dome RC Primary/JHS School Complex during a coding workshop organized in August 2021 – The Coding Caravan.
“Digital literacy should be the fourth pillar of a child’s education alongside reading, writing, and mathematics and be resourced and taught accordingly.” House of Lords Report, 2017. Computer and digital literacy are essential in today’s world for preparing the next generation for the future. Today’s world is becoming increasingly digital, and there is an urgent need to assist the next generation in catching up quickly so that they do not fall far behind in the future. Ghanaian primary and junior high school students have very little computer literacy. This is clear in most students enrolled in schools with insufficient ICT resources that can hinder students’ ability to become computer literate.
Technology will always be with us and will only continue to evolve on several levels. To succeed in all areas of learning now and in the near future, children need to be digitally literate. Despite being referred to as “digital natives,” children in the 21st century in Ghana still face inequalities in access to, motivations for, and skills with respect to using technology. Concerns about the lack of digital literacy and access to ICT resources have escalated. Improved learning outcomes are not always guaranteed by theoretical teaching and learning methods alone.
The improvement of problem-solving skills through digital literacy is a further crucial factor. Students, teachers, and educators who learn to use digital technology must also understand the logical interface out of necessity. If the ability to use digital technology improves, it implies that other relevant skills, such as critical/logical thinking and problem-solving, may also improve.
Children that are digitally literate will have the ability to plan for the future. The minds and attitudes of the students will be developed for the growth of the future. Their minds and abilities will be sharpened by technology when used properly, and they will be completely prepared for the growth of the future.
To contribute towards solving the lack of computers to acquire digital skills in rural schools, the Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana (IIPGH) as part of its 5th-anniversary celebration donated 10 desktop computers to Ve-Golokwati RC primary school in the Afadzato South District of the Volta Region on Tuesday 8th March 2022. To improve the performance of education officers, both teaching and non-teaching staff, the Institute again donated desktop computers to the Volta Regional Education Directorate.
On this 4-day National Teaching Council training for teachers in the Ho West and Adaklu districts, the Institute began this training by donating four (4) computers to the regional education directorate, on the 1st of November 2022, which were warmly received. The head of the Human Resource Management and Development (HRMD) Unit of the directorate, Richmond Edem Kpotosu, spoke about how much the office needed computers and was thankful to IIPGH for the donation, asking for more to help with their day-to-day activities. He used the opportunity to call on other organizations to emulate the forward-looking gestures of IIPGH by donating more desktop computers to the directorate. He acknowledged and encouraged the institute to keep training and educating the public, as it matters in national development. Mr. David Gowu, Executive Director, IIPGH, asked for their continuous support to enrich teachers with the needed ICT skills through the NTC training programs.
On 3rd November 2022, the Institute donated ten (10) computers to Ho-Dome RC Primary/JHS School Complex. The donation was made at a brief ceremony in the presence of the cheerful and visibly excited pupils of the school. Mr. Gowu stated the institute would return with a few of its ICT industry experts to help the staff and students put the donated computers to good use. This donation was to honor the promise made by IIPGH during “The Coding Caravan” workshop with its partner, IT Consortium, in August 2021, to support the school’s digital education. The Coding Caravan (TCC), with laptops and coding software, introduced coding and other digital skills programs to students, particularly children, from underserved or deprived communities. The program ran in 4 communities during the month of August 2021, and after three (3) stops in Accra, TCC went to Ho, Volta Regional capital, to engage students in the Ho Municipality. With the help of Genius IT Foundation, the local partner of IIPGH, Ho-Dome RC Primary/JHS School Complex was identified as a suitable host for the coding workshop.
The institute together with its partners, and the Volta Regional Education Directorate calls on all able institutions to come to the aid of teachers and students to help in the training, donating of new and refurbished computers, and improvement of digital skills as it is an essential part of the growth of the country. As a capacity-building organization and a professional body, mobilizing professionals to effect a change in the ICT ecosystem of Ghana and beyond, the Institute believes in supporting and improving the digital skills growth and the professional development of individuals, organizations, and businesses, to strengthen the digital economy of the country.
Barbara is a Digital Skills Supervisor, Institute of ICT Professionals, Ghana (IIPGH)
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