Education is one of the most important aspects of human resource development. Poor teaching methodologies do not only result in poor academic performances of pupils in school but it also causes significant stress to parents aside poor human resource development for the nation.
Poor academic performances among pupils particularly in basic schools are symptoms reflecting the larger underlying problems in education.
This however called for well-implemented inclusive and innovative educational approaches to address the learning needs of all children particularly, the girl-child.
Several researches on education in Ghana indicated that, the use of ICT in teaching and learning has been very low in schools throughout the country in spite of its usefulness to effective teaching and learning.
It is particularly noted that girls in schools have too little access to and use of computers in schools’ computer laboratories and not enough time to use them after school because of the burden of household chores on them.
Coupled with this is the lack of personal computers at home for these busy girls to to put into use what they have learnt in school before bedtime.
“Cultural predispositions towards gender inequality and subservient of women leadership role in society also turn to deprived girls from having access to computers in school computer labs and a strong hindrance to female students learning ICT in school” says, Augustine Opoku Adjei, the project officer of Tech Girls and Coordinator for the Female Teachers Using ICT (FTUT).
He said female students also turn to have learning difficulties in science related subjects because of the perception that these subjects are difficult and the use of ICT is one sure to making teaching and learning of science related subjects easy and understandable. “ICT can enhance quality lesson delivering in schools”, he added.
Mr. Adjei said, as part of concerted efforts to empower female students particularly to effective use ICT to learn, Savana Signatures (SavSign), an ICT for Development NGO operating in the Northern and Volta Regions of Ghana has initiated a programme known as “Female Teachers Using Technology (FTUT) Fellowship.
“The challenges facing the educational sector however, make the use of ICT tools in educational sector very important”, he said.
He said, based on this, SavSign, through the fellowship has selected ten (10) female teachers in Northern Region to benefit from a free ICT skills training.
These fellows would serve as role models to other female teachers and students after they have been empowered with requisite ICT skills and knowledge.
He said, the year-long fellowship is aimed among other things to encourage the use of ICT by female teachers to deliver quality education. The fellowship is also to address poor teaching and learning methodologies and persistent learning difficulties faced in science related subjects in schools among female students in schools.
“It is also to introduce new innovative approaches to lessons preparation, delivering and learning in schools”, he said.
The project officer said, the use of ICT in education can promote female education saying “it makes learning easy, interesting and provides easy approaches to learning, lesson delivering and understanding”.
He added “this is a unique programme designed to equip the beneficiaries with requisite ICT knowledge and skills to deliver quality education to pupils in basic and second cycle schools in Ghana”.
The fellowship which is being funded by EMpower is one of the activities aimed to provide at-risk youth with the tools and resources they need to lead healthy, productive lives.
Mr. Adjei said, each year, the fellowship would select, mentor and provide free basic and specialized ICT training for 10 female teachers in Ghana. It would also build their capacity on how to effectively use ICT to prepare and deliver lessons and encourage female pupils to opt for science and ICT related courses in school.
“Ten (10) female teachers have so far been selected and are undergoing training in basic and specialize ICT training, computing and programming and the how to effectively prepare and deliver class lessons with the aid of ICT tools. The beneficiaries are being trained on International Computer Driving License (ICDL). ”, he disclosed.
The beneficiaries are Kuumwaar Veronica mwinkom, Jakpa Yvonne Fataa, Gyil Bangnia Mitchel, Bittor Jennifer, Agba Stella Yawa, Baba Rashid, and Bukari Mary Magdalene Awentemi. The rest are Kwara Flavia Nonati, Falilatu Abubakari and Kombian Sophia Yenuloam.
“We will develop and inculcate the passion for girl-child education in them, train them to become role models, and also to serve us trainers of trainees in their respective schools to promote the girl-child education and participation of female teachers and pupils in the use of ICT”, he said.
He said the year-long fellowship would mentor the beneficiaries’ fellows to become ICT ambassadors to help in the implementation of Ghana ICT in Education policy.
“To facilitate the implementation of ICT in education policy in Ghana, Savsign initiated a similar project known as “Tech Girls” which is currently being implemented in some selected basic schools in Northern Region on the use of ICT tools.
He said more teachers from the beneficiary schools have been trained in ICT, and that Savsign has established computer laboratories and provided computes and accessories to these schools to aid teaching and learning of ICT”, he said.
The FTUT fellowship would also help to make other trained teachers “technological literates” to facilitate effective implementation and adoption of ICT in education policy to improve quality education delivering in schools, he said.
He urged the beneficiary teachers and schools to take the programme serious to encourage other female teachers and pupils to participate in the programme.