West African Genetic Medicine Centre donates 75 laptops to graduate students
The West African Genetic Medicine Centre (WAGMC) has presented laptops to 75 graduate students of four medical schools in Accra.
The laptops were donated as part of University of Ghana (UG) Vice-Chancellor’s One Student, One Laptop Initiative (1S1L), which seeks to provide laptops to needy, brilliant undergraduate and postgraduate students of the university.
The ceremony formed part of activities to commemorate the university’s 75th anniversary celebration.
The beneficiary schools included students from WAGMC, the University of Ghana Medical School, School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences and School of Social Sciences.
The Vice-Chancellor of University of Ghana, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, explained that the laptops would help the students to improve upon changes in education delivery and learning, while having access to resources to facilitate effective teaching, learning and research.
She noted that it would also help to bridge their digital divide and enhance their technological skills development.
“Considering the era that we find ourselves in, these laptops would help to improve your tech skills. There is a lot of work that would require you to research deep into the night. And this will help you greatly,” she said.
Prof. Amfo said the university had a vision to become a world-class research-intensive school.
That, she said, would need research graduate students to play a critical role in realising that vision.
She indicated that the initiative was previously for undergraduate students, but they were moving a step higher to target and award graduate students.
Prof. Amfo advised the students to maintain the laptops and use them for their intended purposes.
The Director of WAGMC, Prof. Fiifi Ofori-Acquah said their Centre’s goal was to promote the quantity and quality of post graduate education in the sub region specializing in a specific area.
He explained that, the 75 student beneficiaries came through an innovation project of the centre.
That, he said the centre came out with a back to school fair where they encouraged students to sign up for new laptops especially those who could not afford one.
“We told them to sign up for a free laptop. Most of them thought we were kidding. Most of them did not sign up. It was latter when they went back home and decided to sign up on the Centre’s website”, he said.
The Chairperson of 1S1L Committee, Prof. Peter Quartey, said the laptop initiative came up at the height of the pandemic when the university realised a number of students had difficulties participating in online classes and related academic activities.
He noted that partnerships with IT companies had been established to explore mechanisms and channels that would help to secure free laptops for students who could not afford them.
He further said the university was pursuing a path of establishing an assembling plant on campus and to enter contractual agreements for acquisition to make the required number of laptops available for distribution.
Mr Quartey, who is also the Director for Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), said the laptops would not only go to needy students, but those who could afford at a discount.
“We are also working towards securing laptops in large quantities where it is going to be cheaper for students to afford them,” he stated.
He explained that a committee had been set up to distribute laptops to staff and students who qualified.
He said a criterion had been established for students to apply for the laptops on the school’s website.