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Review ICT curricula for students — IT expert

BY: Mary Anane-Amponsah
Akorfa Edjeani (back to camera), addressing the students
Akorfa Edjeani (back to camera), addressing the students

An information technology expert, Mr Kwadjo Barwuah, has called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to review the current Information Communication Technology (ICT) curricula for the training of students in the country to make them creators and not users of technology.

According to Mr Barwuah, who is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kode IT, the current ICT curricula designed for schools only made the students users of technology and not creators.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic during a day’s workshop for students at Vane Evangelical Presbyterian Basic School in the Ho West District in the Volta Region, Mr Barwuah suggested that the GES should introduce basic concepts of coding at the junior schools to make students entrepreneurial-minded for Ghana to compete in the Global IT space.

“It is painful to see our future generation being left behind while other countries invest and direct their pupils and students to be creators of IT.

We must change our mind set and direct the young ones to learn the building blocks of these technologies,” he stated and expressed concern about what he described as how the country was only pumping money into training children who could only consume the programmes of others instead of creating their own programmes, as it was being done in other parts of the world.

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Global IT space

To contribute towards an agenda of getting young Ghanaian entrepreneurs involved in the IT world, JaniGre Foundation, in collaboration with Kode IT, has started introducing basic school students, especially in the rural areas, to the concepts of computer programming.

The first school to benefit from the project was E.P. Basic School at Vane in the Ho West District where the 65 Form Three students had the opportunity to acquire some basic concepts of computer programming.

Rural schools need ICT

The Public Relations Officer for JaniGre Foundation, Ms Akorfa Edjeani, said the project was started from the rural communities because students in those areas were underprivileged when it came to IT training.

According to Ms Edjeani, most of the students in those rural areas lacked the tools and Internet services to acquire knowledge on the Internet.

Ms Edjeani said the neglect of the IT needs of students in those areas should be critically looked at by the government because “these children are being marginalised.”

Community ICT

Citing the situation at the Vane E.P Basic School, she indicated that the Community Information Centre provided by Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) had not been operationalised for over a year because electricity supply to the centre had been cut off due to outstanding debts.

Ms Edjeani also noted that the students did not have the means to acquire smart phones for their studies and, therefore, relied on the ICT centres.

She, therefore, appealed to the government to prioritise rural ICT training because “these students are very intelligent but need our support.”

She also called on the citizenry to support their communities in any way they could to build better communities for future generations.

The JaniGre Foundation was founded by the first female Brigadier General of the Ghana Armed Forces, Constance Ama Emefa Edjeani-Afenu, with focus on providing basic needs for schoolchildren in the rural areas.