The Advanced Information Technology Institute of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan ICT Centre of Excellence (AITI-KACE) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) and selected educational institutions to build the capacity of students who lack access to ICT.
The project seeks to build the economic resilience and capacity of students in digital skills to survive present and future economic hardship.
The Director General of AITI-KACE, Mr Kwasi Adu-Gyan, signed on behalf of his organisation while Alhaji Yahaya Zakaria Osman and the Principal of the Evangelical Presbyterian College of Education, Dr Ibrahim James Gurindow, signed on behalf of GIFEC and the selected educational institutions respectively.
At the launch of the virtual training platform in Accra on September 1, this year, Mr Adu-Gyan explained that the COVID-19 pandemic had widened the gap between the privileged and deprived in both educational and economic sectors of the country.
He said in spite of the disruptions the pandemic came with, technology came in to curb the situation through the use of innovation to accomplish essential activities such as remote teaching and learning.
“However, not all students have the opportunity to benefit from technology and its advantages during this period of uncertainty.
“Many young people from less privileged backgrounds have been hindered from meaningfully pursuing an education in which the constitution has given them the right to,” Mr Adu-Gyan said.
That, he said, was due to some underlining conditions such as inadequate school or community infrastructure, lack of computer equipment and resources and internet affordability.
To end this, he said his outfit and GIFEC appreciated the inconvenience and financial burdens the continued stay at home of children had posed to parents and guardians.
“Hence, we partnered to equip the less privileged schools in Ghana with digital skills to participate in today’s digital economy.
“We have recently rolled out over 500 online and facilitator-led virtual courses covering several disciplines for students and workers since the outbreak of the pandemic,” he said.
Mr Adu-Gyan said the centre would be piloting a virtual laboratory in three senior high schools (SHS), two Colleges of Education and two Community Interest Companies (CICs).
Terms of agreement
In a speech delivered on behalf of the administrator of GIFEC, Mr Abraham Kofi Asante, he said the intervention which was in line with the United Nation’s Global Sustainable Development Goals, Ghana’s digital transformation and the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda would equip the less privileged schools in Ghana with digital skills to acquire knowledge, build resilience and effectively participate in today’s digital economy.
As part of the project, GIFEC will be responsible for the provision of internet service and project devices such as computers, printers, scanners and internet modems.
AITI-KACE will also provide content, training and technical support while partner institutions will prepare and provide a furnished room suitable for this purpose.
Dr Gurindow speaking on behalf of beneficiaries said the selected institutions were privileged to be part of this project on the area of e-learning.
“This is an information era and COVID-19 has come to wake us up. We will do all we can to play our role to ensure the success of this project,” he said.