Mr Lee Ocran, Minister of Education, said government was determined to make education not only accessible to all through the application of technology but also to ensure that such education was of the highest quality.
He said through Information and Communication Technology (ICT), schools would provide students the hands-on learning activities and technical skills that contributed to improving their performance, as well as enable more people to get access to education without putting parents through financial stress.
Mr Ocran said this on Wednesday at the launch of the Senior High School Internet Access Project in Accra, to diversify teaching methods, increase educational resources and improve communication skills of students.
He said the project would provide internet access for 400 selected Senior High Schools (SHS) with a view to supporting teaching and learning, education and management objectives and contribute towards a wider community and national development.
He said the project, implemented by the Ghana Education Service (GES) , in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Vodafone Ghana, Global E-Schools Communities Initiative and USAID, was to increase access to ICT by proving and supporting internet connectivity to SHS in Ghana.
Mr Ocran said Ghana needed to reap the benefits of globalisation and it was the present SHS students who would be at the forefront of that dream, hence the efforts of government to make all Ghanaian students join the information super-highway as quickly as possible.
He urged the GES to ensure appropriate organisational structure which would permit the effective integration of ICT in the SHSs and, most importantly, quickly provide appropriate guidelines on the use of the internet in the SHSs.
Mr Ocran urged students to take advantage of the opportunity to gain more knowledge by accessing subject teaching websites which would also improve their scores in the various subjects.
He also urged teachers to monit0or the activities of students whilst they were on the net and encourage them to use the facility for healthy, knowledge imparting activities.
Ms Marisol Perez, USAID Education Advisor, said the project was part of a larger USAID effort of the Data Management and Communications Strengthening activities which supported Ghana’s education sector to harness new technologies, including the internet, to benefit education.
She said the launch of the project, which was a Public Private Partnership, also complimented the US Mission’s efforts to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
Ms Perez said under the project, the ICT for Education Global Development Alliance USAID, would provide for installation and necessary internet connectivity upgrades to the 400 SHSs, adding that GES capacity building workshops would also be organised for the sustainability of the project.
Mrs Benedicta Naana Biney, Director General of GES, said the project would help develop ICT and skills at the SHS level, improve quality teaching and learning as well as standardize ICT resources for all the selected schools and determine the ICT needs of the schools.
She urged students to make good use of the project and thanked the partners for their commitment towards the implementation of the project.
Mr Derek Appiah, Director of Vodafone Business Solutions, said the company would try its best to bring all 400 schools together to have a consistent infrastructure to promote ICT across the schools.
He said access to internet should be prevalent in all schools across the country to increase productivity, saying the project marked the beginning of creating skilled students for the development of the country. GNA