The officials of EDUCO, an international agency supporting projects in the areas of education and child rights in some developing countries including Ghana have paid a monitoring visit to Savana Signatures’ projects sites.
The delegation made up of Mr. Chema Rodriguez Sala, West Africa Representative, Mr. Albert Tarradellas Bertrản, Director of International Division and Mr. Wilfred Dery, Ghana Local Representative of EDUCO was conducted round the projects by the Executive Director of Savana Signatures, Mr. John Stephen Agbenyo. The visit accorded the team the opportunity to observe and interact with the end-users of the ICT facilities established by Savana Signatures in the project area.
Savana Signatures with the financial support from EDUCO has established ten 11-Seater ICT laboratories in both primary and junior high schools in the Northern Region of Ghana. The beneficiary schools are Al-Markazia E/A Primary School, Rawdatul-Atful Junior High School, Diare E/A Primary, Nabogu R/C Junior High School, Pong-Tamale Experimental Primary School and Rashadia Islamic Junior High School. The rest are, Wataniya Junior High School, Moglaa Junior High School and Langa primary school.
The ICT facilities are to support teaching and learning and also to facilitate the implementation of Ghana’s ICT in Education policy.
The head teachers of Al-Markazia primary and Rawdatul-Atful Junior High School, Mr. Musah Issah and Muniru Hardi expressed their appreciation to Savana Signatures and its partner, EDUCO for the establishment of the ICT facilities in their schools.
They both said but for the intervention, students would not have had opportunity to touch, feel and use a computer. Before the establishment of these facilities, teachers in these schools were delivering ICT lessons to students abstractly.
Briefing the team about the impact of the facilities on teaching and learning, the head teacher of Al-Markazia said “the facility has increased enrollments, boosted teaching of other subjects, lessened the difficulty in preparation, design and delivering of lessons to students”.
He added “the facility has made teaching and learning of ICT subject very easy. We are not doing abstract teaching of ICT like before, students can now touch, feel and use the ICT facilities”.
The head teacher who lauded Savana Signatures and its donor Partner said “but for the facility, Al-Markazia Primary school would have been closed down because of enrollment challenges the school faced before the intervention.
Established in 1985, Al-Markazia E/A Primary School based in Savelugu have suffered enrollment challenges. “GES nearly closed down Al-Markazia Primary School because of poor enrolment” the head teacher said.
Smiling broadly, Mr. Issah said “the story has since changed from closure to upgrading and soon Al-Markazia will have a junior high school thanks to Savana Signatures and its partners for boosting the image of the school to attract GES attention eventually”.
“Ghana Education Service (GES) officials paid a working visit to our school recently and were impressed about the ICT infrastructure Savana Signatures has established for the school. Now we have been assured of a junior High school-Al-Markazia Junior High School”, he stressed.
The establishment of a junior high school would enable Al-Markazia school authorities to track the performances of their students who are benefiting from the ICT facility and would help the education directorate to deduce the impact of ICT in teaching and learning in school, the head teacher said.
“We are grateful to Savana Signatures and its partners for providing us this facility. We could not have gotten this from Ghana Education Service to deliver ICT lessons in particular”, he said.
The headteacher of Rawdatul-Atfal Junior High School Mr. Muniru Hardi on his part said, teaching of ICT has become easy not only for students but for his teachers. He said “My teachers are now ICT oriented because of the facility Savana Signatures provided us’.
Mr. Hardi said before the establishment of the 11-seater computer lab in the school by Savana Signatures, the school had only two computers purchased for demonstrative teaching.
The ICT facility has given us a great relief in terms of teaching and learning of ICT as a subject. But for the facility how on earth would students be able to write an ICT subject which is mostly practical during their final examination? It would have been impossible.
This fear has been dealt with by the facility”, said Mr. Hardi. He said as compared to the students’ population, the 11-seater ICT computer laboratory and two projectors they benefited from Savana Signatures were woefully inadequate and appealed to Savana Sigantures and EDUCO officials to support the school with more computers.
The Executive Director of Savana Signatures Mr. John Stephen Agbenyo admonished the schools to effectively use the facility to enhance quality teaching and learning.
He said the facility is not a project on its own but a complementary tool to aid teaching and learning of all subjects. He said Savana Signatures as an ICT for development organization is implementing Integration of ICT into Education Project (IIEP) not only to facilitate the teaching and learning of ICT but also to aid effective implementation of the Ghana ICT in Education policy. It is also to encourage students to use ICT tools for their personal and professional development.
He thanked EDUCO for providing support to Savana Signatures and that project is part of efforts to improve on the quality of education to Ghanaian children.
The project, aside the establishment of ICT Computer labs has also provided the beneficiary schools with laptop computers, projectors and cameras to help teachers to deliver lessons to students using ICT tools.
Savana Signatures also trained teachers and school administrators on the use of ICT, power-point presentations, computer troubleshooting among others to enable them to effectively use the tools to deliver quality teaching.
He said delivering quality education to children is the responsibility of all stakeholders and that Savana Signatures would continue to provide services with the support from other organizations to schools and for that matter Ghana Education Service.
Mr. Wilfred Dery, Ghana Local Representative of EDUCO said “we are quiet impressed especially with Rawdatul-Atful Junior High School; how the children were using the facility”. “To hear and see students patronizing the facility and their eagerness to use it was very impressive”.
He however said, the team was not so impressed with the usage of the facility especially at Al-Markazia E/A Primary school and only hoped that efforts would be put in place to ensure children in that school use the facility more.