If you have ever heard of the world being said to have become a global village, it is technological advancement that has made it so. In fact, the major difference between developed countries and their developing counterparts is, undoubtedly, the technological advancement achieved by the former. It is not out of place, therefore, that the newly introduced curriculum for Ghanaian Kindergarten and Primary Schools, has given computing a centre stage in order to churn out a generation that can survive the competition of the digitized world.
Against this backdrop, an ultramodern computer laboratory has been inaugurated and handed over to teachers, students and community members in the newly created Abuakwa South Municipality of the Eastern region. The occasion which took place on Thursday, 12th September, 2019 at Kibi, capital of the aforementioned municipality, showcased a wide range of technological gadgets installed by the Helping Africa Foundation in collaboration with the Friends of Yamoransa Foundation. Laboratories established by the above-named foundations have won the accolade, the Yamoransa Model, named after Yamoransa in the Central region of Ghana where the first ever laboratory was established. The Kibi one, the Yamoransa Model 5 Project, is reportedly, the most advanced of all the computer laboratories that the Helping Africa Foundation has built so far. The facility whose very establishment at Kibi was at the request of the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, has a variety of installed softwares for the study of Mathematics, English Language, Science, and few other disciplines. It also has a variety of gadgets including 16 cameras for recording, gadgets for separating ripe fruits from unripe ones, and is the only laboratory that has robotics and intelligence artificial facilities. The fortnight preceding the inauguration witnessed the training of at least, 50 teachers and 40 students drawn from various schools across the president’s municipality on how to operate the gadgets.
In attendance for the inauguration were teachers and students sampled from various schools across the municipality in question. Also present to grace the programme were a representative of the Eastern Regional Director of Education and the Directors of Education of Abuakwa North and South Municipalities. Other dignitaries included the Abontendomhene of Kibi, Osabarima Marfo Kwabrane, Kwabenghene (Okyeman Gyaasehene), Daasebre Ayimadu Kantamanto (II) who doubled as representative of the Chairman for the occasion, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, who was on an equally important assignment elsewhere. The presence of the royalty of Yamoransa was also heavily felt. For the political class, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Abuakwa South, Hon. Kojo Ofori-Sarfo; the Member of Parliament for Awutu Senya West and Deputy Minister for Communication, Hon. George Andah; and MP for Abuakwa South and Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea were not missing in action. Hon. Atta Akyea represented the President of the Republic.
In her speech, the Abuakwa South Municipal Director of Education, Mad. Grace Owusua Addo, emphasized the timeliness of the facility – especially, its coincidence with the introduction of an entirely new curriculum for Kindergarten and Primary School. According to her, the new curriculum emphasizes the teaching and learning of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as we match forward in a digitized Ghana, and so the facility is, indeed, timely. She expressed gratitude to the Helping Africa Foundation and President Akufo-Addo for a good work done.
In a message delivered for him, Okyehene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin and Chairman for the occasion, thanked the foundation for the kind gesture, and appealed to them to always make their presence felt in his Akyem Abuakwa Kingdom whenever they are called upon. Like Oliver Twist, Osagyefo asked for more. He also expressed appreciation to the foundation as well as President Akufo-Addo for the various roles they played which have culminated in this achievement.
In a speech read on his behalf, President Akufo-Addo expressed excitement at the speedy completion of the project. According to the First Gentleman, when the leadership of the foundation called on him about four months ago (specifically, in May, 2019), in his office at the Jubilee House, they were on their way up north to inaugurate the fourth laboratory which the Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, had requested to be built for her hometown. When he was offered the opportunity to make a choice of his own location for the construction of the 5th laboratory, Nana Addo, according him, naturally chose Kibi since that is his hometown. ” …They then promised to build one for me at a place of my choosing. Naturally, I chose my hometown, Kyebi. As Japheth said, all politics is local. You can’t expect to help others if you can’t help your own community. “, Nana Addo said. The President was optimistic the project would help educate and prepare the youth for the 21st Century Digital Age as he expressed excitement at its speedy completion. ” I must say I am impressed by the speed with which this lab has been completed. I am sure it will serve the greater good of educating and preparing our young people for the 21st Century Digital Age. “, he added.
The foundation has pledged to shoulder the cost of running the facility for the next two years by which time students not less than 10,000 will have been trained. A committee was constituted to take charge of the facility. My only hope is that the culture of maintenance should be brought to bare on the use of this facility in order that it would be able to serve its desired purpose.
Felix Nyarko Acheampong reports for ghanaeducate.com.