‘Use Internet wisely for information on subject areas’

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The Minister of Education, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, gave the advice in a speech read on her behalf by Mr Charles Aheto Tsegah, Deputy Director General of the Ghana Education Service, at the launch of a programme at Saltpond in the Central Region to train teachers to keep them abreast of using Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the study of Mathematics, English and Integrated Science.

She cautioned the students against indulging in what she called “cyber misconduct,” which she said led to the use of the Internet to access pornographic materials, downloading movies and music, chatting on Facebook and Twitter with friends.

She also cautioned students against using the Internet to defraud unsuspecting foreigners in an attempt to get rich quickly and urged teachers to monitor the activities of their students on the Internet.

She also called on school authorities to enact guidelines for use of students whilst accessing the Internet.

The minister commended the 134 teachers who are attending the five-day training workshop, stressing that “you will be equipped with the requisite knowledge to integrate the use of ICT in teaching and learning systematically to apply it professionally in your daily practice.”

Prof. Naana Opoku Agyemang said the distribution of free laptops by the government to students and tutors would deepen students’ knowledge in science and technology which were essential for human resource development in the quest of the country to achieve a middle-income status.

The minister said the programme, which is being funded by USAID at a cost of US$1.79 million, was to create a common understanding on basic ICT concepts through problem solving strategies.

She said it would also facilitate the preparation of technology enhanced curriculum materials to support pedagogy and content in Education Management Information System (EMIS).

She expressed gratitude to USAID for financing the project, which was part of Data Management and Communication Strengthening programme of the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service.

Mr Andrews Karas, Deputy Mission Director of USAID, said the United States was committed to building partnerships that produce substantial development results.

He said the USAID was setting ambitious goals and taking on some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Mr Karas added that the USAID was working with Vodafone to install Internet upgrades to 400 senior high schools throughout the country, adding that the teachers attending the current workshop were the first batch out of 800 to be trained by their partner GeSCI over the next eight days.

He said now that the schools had connectivity, they were training teachers on how to use this new resource to improve students’ learning.

 The Director of the Ghana Education Staff Development Institute, Mr Seth O. Baiden, said every nation that needed to develop and catch up with the rest of the developed nations must integrate ICT into teaching and learning.

He said Ghana had reached a stage where ICT should be properly integrated into teaching, learning and education management service to contribute greatly to improve efficiency and the effectiveness of achieving quality education.

Mr Baiden said he was convinced that the integration of ICT into the teaching of Integrated Science and English, to start with, should bring about a revolutionary change in teaching methodologies so that learning would be fun and accessible.

He said it was important for teachers to know that the use of ICT in a lesson must add value to instruction delivery and class interaction.