We’ll ensure functional ICT educational system — Dr Hilda Ampadu

BY: Severious Kale-Dery
• Dr Hilda Ampadu, Executive Director, National Inspectorate Authority, speaking at the 2021 Annual New Year School and Conference. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo

The quest to develop a functional ICT educational system in the country is on course, the Inspector-General of the National Schools Inspectorate Authority (NaSIA), Dr Hilda H. Ampadu, has said.

She said the traditional mode of learning was inadequate, hence efforts by successive governments to ensure that ICT and life-long learning became key parts of the educational system.

Dr Ampadu was speaking on the topic: "ICT for the provision of inclusive quality education and life-long learning", at the 72nd Annual New Year School and Conference at the University of Ghana, Legon in Accra last Wednesday.

According to Dr Ampadu, Ghana, together with countries such as Cameroon, Mauritius and Botswana, was moving towards a stable economy that placed premium on ICT applications.

She said the lockdown of cities and towns occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the educational inequality, the digital divide and the lack of collaboration between parents and school authorities.

Education Strategic Plan

Dr Ampadu explained that ICT was a key aspect of the Education Strategic Plan (ESP), 2018 to 2030, saying: “As part of the Ministry of Education’s plans to integrate the use of ICT in teaching, the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) has also supported the development and roll-out of an I-box, a repository of learning resources for SHS core subjects that can be wirelessly accessed on the school compound.”

She said under the newly developed common core programme (CCP) developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), computer literacy was one of its major focus areas.

Consequently, Dr Ampadu said, ICT would be a compulsory subject for all learners to expose them to digital technology, adding that a new integrated curriculum reform would also ensure greater focus on learning outcomes, as teachers would be trained in the delivery of specific curriculum objectives.

“The new curricula will be supported by ICT-linked strategies and will include a stronger promotion of STEM,” she further explained.

Dr Ampadu further said teachers would be equipped with knowledge in ICT as a cross-cutting tool for teaching, for which reason requisite knowledge in ICT was now a mandatory requirement for teachers in the renewal of their licences.

According to her, a research conducted in 2016 indicated that only 25 per cent of teachers had minimum training in ICT pedagogy, while most teachers were not prepared to integrate ICT in their teaching practice.

Role of NaSIA

Dr Ampadu also said NaSIA recognised the need for the continuation of teaching and learning in times of crisis and, consequently, in April 2020, the authority published national e-learning guidelines for pre-tertiary schools in response to the COVID-19 and school closures.

The guidelines had equipped schools to design and set up online learning systems for learners nationwide, she said.