Sunday, 18 November 2012

Putting Education to Work: The Role of ICT in Skills Development

The Ghana launch of the tenth UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report was held at the British Council, Accra, last Wednesday 14th November. It was put together by the Accra office of UNESCO in collaboration with DFID, World Bank, Ministry of Education and the GhanaThink Foundation. The report's theme, "Youth and Skills: Putting Education to Work", is both interesting and very relevant to the times. 

Hiplife star and CEO of Lynx Entertaiment, Richie in a musical performance
A presentation by Prof Kwame Akyeampong, one of the report's authors, brought to the fore many failings of Ghana's educational system including inability of some basic school graduates to read, inaccessibility of education to the poorest, continuous low-enrollment of girls, late entry of pupils into education and lack of second-chance opportunities for school dropouts.While we thrive fairly well compared to most African countries, we're way off the mark considering our lofty developmental aspirations.

Prof Akyeampong: Investing in education and skills is good business. Every dollar invested gives ten-fold reward.
As part of the programme, six tables were set up to discuss different topics connected to the report. These were ICT and technology, The role of the private sector, An education for the world of work, Informal education and out-of-school children, Education/skills development for rural/disadvantaged women and Entrepreneurship. Each session had an expert and two or more youth leaders to coordinate  deliberations.

During the ICT and Technology session, a clear distinction was made between ICT as a school subject and ICT as a teaching and learning tool. It was noted that technology’s usefulness should not end after ICT classes but must permeate every aspect of the school curriculum.

The following challenges were noted as barriers to adoption of ICT in Education: 
  • Lack of basic infrastructure, including electricity and Internet 
  • Expensive equipment eg computer
  • Reluctance of older teachers to embrace ICTs 
  • Distraction suffered by students (as they abuse the use of technology)
 To overcome the challenges, some proposals were made: 
  • Put more attention on mobiles due to their ubiquity
  • Create synergies as different people on the table were involved in one project on the other  
  • Be more encouraging to people’s efforts. Part of OLPC’s challenges stems from lack of support  
  • Enforce the curriculum 
  • Set up rules/policy to moderate usage of technology by students
 We don’t have to try to get everything right from go since critical mass creates demand (for the resources) hence supply (by government or private sector) comes in. 

Participants shared their contacts so as to continue with the discussions and collaborate on projects they’re working on.The following projects and resources were mentioned:


  1. You left out the United Nations Information Centre, Accra as being part of those "who put together" the launch. We facilitated all media engagements with the support of John Armah and a few others.

    1. Thank you Anon. Thumbs up to the team from UNIC too.

  2. Great job!!! You impressed me, maybe we should rethink how we use our resources... Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. Thank you Ana. Indeed, we need to work out the most effective way of using the resources available to us.

  4. This is great work indeed,we will make use of this effectively,thank you so much,well done for this great job.


Keep comments and insights coming to get the discussion going!