A Ghana teacher has been teaching “Information and Communications Technology” on a chalkboard and has gained global attention for doing so.
After his Facebook post, the school which lacked the resources to buy computers has been inundated with offers of donations of laptops.
The school in rural Ghana Owura Kwadwo worked in could not afford a computer. But Kwadwo, who is originally from Kumasi, Ghana, wanted to help his students get familiar with the look and function of a computer. So Kwadwo, who has a background in visual arts, started by drawing the perfect copy of a blank Microsoft Word document on a chalkboard.
Kwadwo has also tried to put as much detail into the recreation of the blank Word Document, making it very impressive. He has included every feature you would find in a Word Document.
It also includes an explanation of what each part of the document does so that students can really understand how it would work.
If students can see what MS Word looks like now, they will be prepared for when they have the opportunity to use it on a real computer, Kwadwo says.
ICT as important as maths education
The teacher’s work is impressive on a technical level but it is also an effective way to help students grasp the basics of Microsoft Word and computers in general. In the 21st Century, understanding how to use technology is as important as math, science, or history in terms of education.
But many students in the world lack the resources to access and use technology on a regular basis. That is why Kwadwo is willing to put in this level of work to replicate a Word Document. “I do it to make my students understand what I‘m teaching,” he said. “At least to give a picture of what they will see assuming they were behind a computer.”
The Facebook post by Kwadwo teaching ICT without a computer has gone viral. It has at the same time provoked heated discussion in Ghana. Most people have been praising Kwadwo for his dedication to his students and improvisation. But there has also been outrage as to why he has gone to these lengths in the first place. Another question is why, in 2018, there are schools still without a computer.
Kwadwo himself thinks that things are slowly improving. “The government is helpful and I believe in them, they are trying to make ICT better for the teachers and students,” he said. This is probably happening in big cities like Accra and Kumasi in Ghana but progress is clearly slow in coming to rural areas. “We need well-equipped infrastructures and teaching and learning aids, and a government who has education at its heart.” Kwadwo said.
Offers of donations
Kwadwo has received offers of donations for laptops and projectors since his post went viral. The donations are great news for the kids and the school. Kwadwo is thankful for any assistance in making a better experience for his students, and also wants to help out other schools in the region.
His efforts and commitment are a good example for teachers in developing countries like Ghana. Sometimes a bit of improvisation is needed to try to fill the needs that governments are unable to provide. ICT is a very important subject for the next generation to be proficient in order to make Ghana compete in the global marketplace.