The Prestea-Huni-Valley Municipal Director of Education, Ms Mary Vida Kwofie, has inaugurated a computer laboratory known as the Yamoransa Model Lab-8 at Bogoso in the Prestea/Huni-Valley Municipality in the Western Region for use by children as a way of promoting the teaching and learning of information communication technology (ICT) in the country.
The well-equipped 50-seater ICT laboratory dubbed: “Yamoransa Model Lab 8” which is to provide free ICT literacy in the area also has a conference room for teacher training and workshops.
It has a MakerSpace specially designed by TECHAiDE, a Ghanaian technology company, to help prepare students who need the critical 21st century skills in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The installation of all the technology systems was done by TECHAiDE.
The MakerSpace installed as part of the facility included a 3D printer, augmented/virtual reality system, arduino, legos and other robotics equipment.
The computers are installed with over 30 pieces of educational software to address the curriculum requirements of primary through junior high school levels.
An ASANKA device at the facility provides educational content via wi-fi for the centre and a distance of half a football field around the facility.
As a result of the lack of reliable electricity in many villages, the facility has a solar system to provide uninterrupted power supply as part of the package.
The project was funded by the Helping Africa Foundation (HAF) and Friends of Yamoransa Foundation (FYF) and managed by Implementers, an Accra based non-profit development management.
Inaugurating the laboratory, Ms Kwofie emphasised the importance of ICT in contemporary educational system.
She stated that at the face of the devastating threats of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year, the use of ICT to support the teaching and learning revolutionised the educational sector.
“Without ICT in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, teaching and learning would have come to a complete standstill with the adverse effects on the progress of children,” Ms Kwofie stated.
She said the project came as a propeller in its quest to ensure the acquisition of ICT knowledge and skills for school children and perfect ambiance for teachers to teach.
The Chief Executive Officer of TECHAiDE, Mr Kafui Prebbie, said the maker-space, which was part of the facility, included a 3D printer, augmented/virtual reality system, arduino, legos, and other robotics equipment for the beneficiaries.
“The computers have over 30 pieces of educational software installed on them to address the curriculum requirements of primary through junior high school levels.
"An ASANKA device at the facility provides educational content over WiFi for the centre over a distance of half a football field around the facility and because of the lack of reliable electricity in many villages, the facility fully runs on solar energy to provide continuous power as part of the package," he said.
Mr Prebbie urged the facility management committee to effectively maintain the lab and allow the children to use it without any restrictions without charging any child a pesewa.
The President of HAF, Dr Deborah Rose, said the contemporary educational setting, ICT education had become the most important tool for productivity, efficiency, competitiveness, increased wealth and prosperity.
She said the HAF and FYF’s way of ensuring that the country’s students were exposed to standard ICT education through the provision of computers and other ICT facilities to promote the practice of ICT and STEM theories using the Yamoransa Model Lab facilities.
For his part, the Executive Director of HAF, Mr Japheth Ardie, said the mission of HAF was to work to improve the education, health and social conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Ghana.
The Chief of Bogoso Kokoase Traditional Area, Nana Kwasi Sampre, and officials of the Prestea/Huni-Valley Municipal Assembly were present.