Director worried about misplaced priority projects to communities

Mr Paul Apanga, Northern Regional Director of Education has expressed concern about government’s arbitrary citing of some educational projects to communities where their usefulness did not serve the needs of the people.

He said there have been instances where school infrastructure such as classrooms, toilets and urinals had been cited in areas that did not need such facilities and called for social auditing before addressing the needs of communities to ensure that priority projects went to the deserved areas.

Mr Apanga expressed the concern at the weekend during the launch of Connect4Change Education Ghana Alliance (C4C-EGA), which is a civil society organization contributing to improve the quality of education delivery in Ghana.

The Alliance comprised the Savana Signatures, IBIS Ghana, Producer Enterprises Promotion Centre, Women and Development Projects, Presbyterian Education Unit and the Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS).

The Alliance commissioned a research on the use of ICT skills and tools in education delivery in Ghana, with the aim of determining the type of ICT skills and tools available to schools in selected regions of Ghana.

Mr Apanga said, “The Ghana Education Service (GES) has a problem of educational infrastructure and there are instances where classroom blocks are built at communities where there are no enough children to fill the classrooms, while communities that were in dire need of such facilities were not provided with”.

He said it was important for the providers of such facilities to do what he termed; “Social Auditing” before addressing community needs to ensure the needed educational improvement and change in the country.

“There are a lot of examples I can cite in Northern Region where classroom blocks, toilets and other infrastructure are built in communities, which already have such facilities but communities where there are so many children crowding in one class for lack of infrastructure are almost abandoned,” he said.

He commended Savana Signatures for its ICT assistance to schools and assured that the GES would continue to partner with any NGO, which works to improve the knowledge of ICT in schools.

Mr Fred Agbenyo, Executive Director of Savana Signatures, said the NGO would continue to embark on programmes and projects that would improve the ICT knowledge of children in the country.

He said the Alliance in 2014 conducted a research on availability and use of ICT material in teaching and learning in 40 districts in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and the Volta Regions.

He said key findings of the study had uncovered that infrastructure had been the major challenge hindering the promotion and deployment of ICT materials in education and development in Ghana, while education pillar of ICT4AD policy had not been adequately implemented because ICT tools and equipment were lacking in some schools.

Mr Agbenyo said some teachers, students and school authorities had poor knowledge and understanding of the ICT in the education policy and that many school heads and directors had never seen the policy document.

Professor Seidu Al-hassan, a lecturer at the University for Development Studies (UDS), who presented the research report, indicated that the use of ICT tools among female teachers was high as compared to male teachers.

He said the low level of ICT tools for administrative purposes slowed down communication between schools and the outside world while decision making and implementation of education related activities at schools were also affected, which contributes to high ICT illiteracy rate.

The research report recommended among others, improvement in education infrastructure, building capacity of teachers and education managers, increased awareness of ICT in education policy, provision of internet connectivity at schools and provision and expansion of ICT infrastructure.

The report called on government to make concerted effort towards fully implementing the ICT in Education policy and that it was important for Civil Society Organisations (CBOs) to collaborate and provide the needed resources to implement the policy effectively. GNA

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