Conditions in schools in rural Ghana can pose significant problems for computers. Heat, dust (and even sand) and an intermittent electricity supply can make it difficult to ensure that computers are kept in good working condition. It is not enough to equip schools with computers without adequate back up and so training at the time of installation and regular refreshers are essential.
Here are just a few examples of the training workshops we have run and some of the outcomes.
Training for Junior High School Teachers at Prabon
This workshop was attended by headteachers and ICT teachers from 6 schools in the Ashanti region, near to Kumasi. The morning session covered the basic maintenance issues frequently encountered in our monitoring visits and allowed the opportunity for teachers to ask questions. The afternoon was spent on networking – something none of the teachers had previous experience of, but which was of great interest. Networking computers in the schools is the most effective way of ensuring that all computers are updated regularly as we continue to develop our resources.
The training had a positive impact on the numbers of computers needing repair and a visit 1 year later showed that the computers were being well maintained and were still in use. However, the teachers identified a need for more computers. There are usually many more students in the class than there are computers so that their students had to share, which meant less hands on experience for each student.
Training Workshops at Kedzi ICCES
Kedzi Integrated Centre for Employable Skills (ICCES) is situated on the coast in the Volta region and serves as a training centre for the other ICCES in that region. It has a well set up computer laboratory and teaches ICT to all its students as part of the core curriculum. However, sand is a problem and the computers all need very regular maintenance. The timing of the workshop in 2016 was also important as 8 ICCES in the Volta region received computers from The Turing Trust for the first time during this visit. We wanted to ensure that the staff in the ICCES had the knowledge and skills in computer maintenance they needed to ensure that the computers were available for teaching and learning as much as possible.
Keyrus UK Conduct a Week of Training in Accra
Keyrus UK sent two members of their team from London, and one from New York in 2015 to Ghana to run ICT training days for teachers and students. This training week brought together 50 students and 10 teachers, from every region across Ghana.
The week started with two days of data visualisation training, where teams of students were given the task of compiling data about Ghana, researching and using RACHEL, the offline content distribution system devised by World Possible. The trainees were given training in using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. On the final day students presented their data. Staff and trainers were impressed by the quality of the presentations, their diversity and the level of delivery.
Students attending the training week described it as a once in a lifetime experience.
Do you have any IT equipment to donate?
Our community-owned, off-grid computer laboratory powered by solar energy and with low energy Raspberry Pi computers.
Our activities stem from our base in Edinburgh where we teach trainees how to refurbish IT equipment.
Our current focus is in Malawi working with Centre for Youth and Development to provide technology-enabled education.