Let’s talk about Improving ICT in Basic Schools in Ghana
As the world moves steadily in this data age, Ghana seems to be joining the train. The introduction of ICT into the basic schools is a step in the right direction but after its introduction has been long forgotten much like the other courses.
The government seems to forget that the ICT world is evolving rapidly and now ICT is treated as a course needed to pass the Basic Education Certificate exam (BECE). However it shouldn’t be so, but considering the fact that some basic schools in other regions barely have an electricity supply, the Government has its hands tied.
Private schools, on the other hand, have students who are computer savvy but often focus on the wrong stuff. But there’s a way for both types of schools to help the students gain computer literacy.
The Government could increase our children’s interest in learning ICT by having more standardized exams for it. The first step in doing this is to restrict the studies of ICT to only basic schools that can fully utilize the experience after all how many students continue to study ICT in those schools.
The restriction wouldn’t be permanent, however, the government could then embark on introducing it on a priority basis. A smaller number of students to teach and examine would result in a better-regulated curriculum and more standardized exams. This curriculum should be handled outside the GES so it can be regulated as to when it needs to instead of when GES decides to review all its subjects.
The private schools are supposed to have an upper hand when it comes to ICT because their parents are wealthier than their counterparts from the public schools but the priority of the students is often elsewhere. Most children already have premium smartphones by the time they enter Junior High School(JHS) or even earlier but they usually use them for the wrong purposes mainly social media.
You would think a child introduced to technology would know how to do basic things like using Microsoft Office correctly or even having a minimum typing speed of up 25 words per minute but it isn’t so. To ensure the children make the very best of the opportunity offered them in life, private schools need to have more intensive curricula.
They have already taken the first step by early introduction into the syllabus but it’s still seen like as just a subject like maths or science which shouldn’t be so. The schools have to make the course as practical as possible whiles giving much self-practice homework to be done at home.
Parents also need to make sure their wards prioritize ICT as a skill needed rather than as another subject. Unfortunately, in our part of the world, we seem to prioritize other subjects much more than ICT and that must change. Parents need to be sensitized about this and change their way of thinking after all the majority of them know its implication on their lives.
Some parents seem to have the right idea by sending their wards to gain some form of ICT knowledge after they are done with BECE and WASSCE but it usually ends there and there’s usually no follow up on this and the student even sees it as a waste of time. Parents need to understand the use of ICT in this evolving world.
Many students get to the university and are totally oblivious on how to appropriately harness the technology available to them and thus struggle to do assignments that need to be submitted online or even conduct proper research. It shouldn’t be so, we need to introduce these skills to them as young ones to equip them for the challenges on the global front.