Friday, 28 September 2012

BarCamp Ho Breakout Session: Reversing the Declining Trend of BECE Performance

BarCamp Ho 2012 featured five user-generated breakout sessions, namely, reversing the trend of poor Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) performance, environmental sanitation, risk management in entrepreneurship, using technology to solve problems and drama as an educational tool. In the "BECE session" led by Joel Degue, I was privileged to confer with Anne Amuzu, Maximus Ametorgoh, Edward Tagoe, Elvis Bomasah, Kwabena Akuamoah-Boateng, among others, on why BECE performance is at such a low ebb and what we can do about it.

Discussing the declining rate of BECE performance at #bcho
Joel previously digested the declining academic performance at the basic level in the Volta region on In his piece, he noted that "According to some records, the last decade alone saw over 3,669,138 BECE candidates sitting for that exam. Out of that figure 1,562,270 of them failed to make the required grades for progression to any of the secondary, technical and vocational schools."  With such an damning statistic staring us at the face we proceeded to dig at the issue.

So, what are the causes of poor academic performance at the BECE level? 

Poor school infrastucure contributes to poor BECE performance. Source:
  • Lack of dedicated teachers- most teachers are not qualified or do not have passion for the job
  • There is a big question mark over content. There is a disconnect between what's in the syllabus and the realities of the 21st century.
  • Presentation styles are not engaging. There is too much of instruction rather than discussion. Other formats of presenting information eg. audiovisual are missing. There is also lack of practicality in school work.
  • Parental apathy- some parents do little to ensure that their children stay in school and monitor their performance .
  • Lack of quality school infrastructure
  • Lack of motivation to study as other endeavours seem to be more rewarding and societal values keep changing.

How can the situation be improved?

  • Review school content to meet the realities of immediate environment of students
  • Incorporate games into teaching and learning
  • Use pictures and videos and not just text to communicate to learners.
  • Promote use of local languages especially in lower primary
  • Pressurise leaders to overhaul the system
Learning mathematics with a mobile device. Source:
We resolved to pressure the Ghana Education Service (GES), through the mass media, to take a look at restructuring basic school education in light of the poor outcomes and impracticability of the knowledge obtained. That said, I personally think the time is right to take a look at alternative modes of learning, such as use of mobile devices (m-learning) to bring the spark back into basic education and improve BECE performance.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Social Media Awards for Ghana's Online Community

BloggingGhana is introducing another first into Ghana's online world, the first ever Blog and Social Media Award! The event slated for March 2013 is generating buzz in the local web ecosystem, as this is the first time bloggers, vloggers, tweeps and facebookers will be officially recognised. Find the full press release below.

“BLOG And Social Media Awards 2013!”
Ghana’s 1st Blogging And Social Media Awards Night

We’ve all fantasized about being world-popular writers; had long conversations with ourselves in the shower; wowed the lawyer in us with the sheer wit of our arguments in the isolation of our bedrooms; calmed the storms and tsunamis of the world with Dalai Lama and Paulo Coelho. We’ve even changed policies and agenda with our very own mass followings, photoblogs, and online networks. In reality, this might not be the case, but in the world of the blogger, tweep, facebooker, everything is possible.

It’s a closed world, personal and sometimes defiant, but it has influenced, shaped, and motivated many. And here at BloggingGhana, we firmly believe it’s about time we appreciate, honour, and award some of the personalities behind the blogs, tweets, and pages that have so motivated, informed, and affected many of us.

So join us, in March 2013, to show special honour to our silent, unknown, sometimes faceless cyber and social media motivators. Yes, you, me, and she/him, at the first-ever in Ghana “Blog & Social Media Awards 2013”. If you are a blogger, tweep, facebooker, and you believe you have touched the world – really, it’s okay if you/person are not so up there, you should still make your nomination – locate yourself in the following categories:

  • Best Technology Blog
  • Best Business & Commerce Blog
  • Best Citizen Journalism Blog
  • Best Creative, Literary Short Stories, Poetry Blog
  • Best Showbiz and Entertainment Blog
  • Best Lifestyle Blog
  • Best Activist Blog
  • Best Photo Blog
  • Best Organisational Blog
  • Best Blog

Other Social Media Categories
  • Personality with Best Social Media Presence
  • Organisation with Best Social Media Presence
  • Best Original Content

Nomination Process
BloggingGhana will open up Nominations for the above listed categories in November 2012 after which an Academy and the Public will vote for the best in each category. Voting will close in February 2013 and presentation of awards will be at the BlogCamp Ghana 2013 event scheduled for March 2013.

Visit then follow @BloggingGhana on Twitter, and stay locked on for updates on “the road to Blog & Social Media Awards! 2013”. There will be daily riddles, blog quotes, personality bloggers of the week, ‘Vim Series’, and other events alongside the nomination period activities. Most importantly, there might be an award here with your name on it!

This event is brought to you by BloGH – BloggingGhana, Ghana’s biggest organization of bloggers and social media enthusiasts. BloggingGhana (BloGh) is a group of bloggers and social media users, writing out of Ghana or the Ghanaian experience. It is also an aggregator website that collects the latest posts and tweets from our members. Since June 2011 we are a registered non-profit organization with a executive council working towards the following objectives:
  1. Serving as a forum for bloggers in Ghana to network and exchange ideas
  2. Building capacity among bloggers in Ghana
  3. Accessing new audiences for our blogs through a mutual website (aggregator) and other activities
  4. Promoting citizen journalism in Ghana
  5. Educating the general public in Ghana on the opportunities of social media

The idea of starting BloGh came out of a meet-up of bloggers on 24 July 2008.  To that first meeting, organized by bloggers Sandra Crabbe and Kajsa Hallberg Adu, eight bloggers were invited. We wrote: “we would like to bring the Ghanaian blog community together in real life! There is so much to say…about our green homeland, if Blogger is better than  WordPress, if labels are useful, how best to boost and count traffic,  what Internet cafés are fast, and of course how blogging changes your life…”


Media Contact:
Naa Adaku (Golda) Addo
Blog & Social Media Awards Lead – BloGH

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Youth Taking Charge of Development at BarCamp Ho 2012

We welcome the GhanaThink Foundation back to the Volta Region for BarCamp Ho 2012. Organised in collaboration with the Centre for Creative Youth, BarCamp Ho seeks to challenge the youth to take charge of development, to be innovative and to play active roles in national life.

BarCamp Ho will be held tomorrow, 21st September (Founder's Day) at Ho Polytechnic under the theme "Youth Taking Charge of Development". From 8: 00 am to 5 pm, the event will feature many young achievers who have carved niches for themselves in their own fields. They will in turn inspire their colleagues to make a difference in their various fields of endeavour. There will be keynote speeches, mentoring sessions, start-up bazaar, demos, breakout sessions, networking, among others. We will take advantage of Founder's Day to reflect on the life of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana.

I can only be grateful to the following personalities for quickly responding to our call to inspire Ghanaian youth in the Volta Region: Francis Asong (VOICE Ghana), Makafui Nyamadi (GCOM Pre-University), Tsonam Akpeloo (Techcom Visions), Florence Toffa (Mobile Web Ghana), Anne Amuzu (Nandimobile), Penelope Sheila Bartels-Sam (inCharge Global), Nehemiah Attigah (Hatua Solutions), Regina Agyare (Soronko Solutions), Alloysius Attah (Farmerline), Maximus Ametorgoh (PopOut) and Eyram Tawia (Leti Games).

BarCamp Ho 2012 follows the 2011 event, themed "Harnessing Local Competencies and Opportunities for Global Impact", held at the Centre for National Culture (CNC), Ho last December. Discussions on that day was focused on developing the strengths of the Volta Region, notably tourism as a means of developing the region.

Join us at Ho Polytechnic by picking your free ticket at the BarCamp Ho Eventbrite registration page. You can also tell your friends to text "BarCamp Ho [Name] [Email Address] to 1945 on any network to register.

Come and let's celebrate inspiring Ghanaian projects like Nandimobile, Farmerline, Leti Games, Sandlanders, inCharge, VOICE Ghana, Ghana Decides, among others. Join us to move Ghana and the Volta Region forward. Follow @BarCampHo on Twitter and "like" BarCamp Ho Facebook page. We'll be posting with #bcho on Twitter and G+.

BarCamp Ho 2012 is sponsored by the Ho Polytechnic, GhanaThink Foundation, Google Ghana, CCY Ghana, VOICE Ghana, Nandimobile, Fienipa Group, etc. Our media partners are US FM, Spy Ghana, Modern Ghana, TNG, myjoyonline and the Ghana News Agency.

Gedeme! Miawoe zɔ!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

BarCamp Cape Coast 2012: Widening the Frontiers of Innovation in Education

BarCamp Cape Coast 2012 comes off at the New Lecture Theatre (NLT) of the University of Cape Coast. Its theme, “Revolutionizing Education through Arts & Technology”, is very apt and relevant to our times.
Barcamp will focus on creating more awareness about the uses of technology and build knowledge on how to foster innovation in and around Cape Coast and increase visibility through arts and online content creation. It will also investigate how to incorporate technology into teaching and education. 
Register now on the BarCamp Cape Coast Eventbrite page or text “Barcamp Cape Coast, Your_Name Your_Number” to 1945, using any network.

BarCamp Cape Coast is organised by the GhanaThink Foundation and sponsored by the University of Cape Coast, GhanaDecides (a BloGh project), Google Ghana, UCC-GDG, GhanaThink Foundation, Fienipa Group, Nandimobile, etc. Our media partners are Cranchon, ATL fm(100.5), etc.

For more information, follow @bcCapeCoast on Twitter and like BarCamp Cape Coast on Facebook as well.