Hands on computer classes for 1,800 Ghana children

 
$150,212
$755
Raised
Remaining
Pupils in Volta Region practice using computers.
Pupils in Volta Region practice using computers.

We are delighted to announce that we have received a donation from the technology company, Nokia, to enable us to scale up our project to reach 1,800 children in three more regions of Ghana.

We started working with just 450 children attending rural schools in Volta Region. In 2014 your support through GlobalGiving helped 212 children to pass their computer exams, opening the doors to secondary school and improving the children’s chances in life.

This achievement led Nokia to select our project for presentation at a fundraising event held in Berlin in November 2014, to demonstrate Nokia’s commitment to technology that meets real human need. .

The Nokia grant enables EIFL to extend the project to three more regions of Ghana, where public libraries will reach over 1,000 more children. We will also continue our commitment to children in Volta Region, by providing Volta Regional Library with additional computers.

“Our experience with Volta Regional Library has shown that libraries can offer a cost-effective and sustainable model for providing access to technology and improving education in rural schools. We thank Nokia and GlobalGiving UK for their confidence in our programme, and welcome the opportunity to expand the project to three more regions in Ghana.

“We also again thank the many individual EIFL supporters and partners who supported the ‘Hands on Computer Classes For 450 Ghana Children’ project,” said EIFL Director, Rima Kupryte.

During the last week of February 2015, EIFL staff visited Ghana to meet with major stakeholders. The meetings have built a strong platform to take forward our expanded project, which is named Hands On Computer Classes for 1,800 Ghana Children.

“You have opened the doors to learning, and Ghana’s children in three more regions will not be left behind in this digital era," said Kwaku Ofosu-Tenkorang, Executive Director, Ghana Library Authority.

Outdoor computer class guided by a librarian.
Outdoor computer class guided by a librarian.
Online at last - pupils learn about the internet.
Online at last - pupils learn about the internet.

“From everyone at the library, the teachers and most of all, the children, thank you to everyone who has supported us. Please accept our best wishes for the festive period and the New Year.” – Alikem Tamakloe, head of Volta Regional Library.

 With your support, 212 children have passed their exams, opening opportunities to progress to secondary school and to brighter futures for them and their families.

 The children attend junior schools in under-developed parts of Ho municipality in Ghana. The schools are extremely poorly resourced: some have no electricity; none have computers or internet connections.

 Your support enables Volta Regional Library to travel to the schools in a van equipped with solar power, laptop computers and wi-fi internet, and to offer struggling children hands-on computer classes.

 Exam results for 2014 show what a difference the library’s classes are making: at Mawuli Junior High School 84% of students passed their computer exams; at Ziave Dzogbe Junior High School, 39% passed (up from just 6% in 2013); at Klefe Achatime school which took the exam for the first time, 39% of students passed.

 “There is still a long way to go, but it is thanks to the library that we are improving. The students were very excited to be able to answer the exam questions,” said ICT teacher, Charles Kloklo.

 The library’s mobile classes are in high demand. In the 2013/14 school year the library’s itinerary included five schools and just over 600 pupils. Now the library regularly visits 10 schools, reaching 1,400 pupils.

 “The children are always very enthusiastic seeing the library vehicle in their schools. We are struggling to keep up with demand, and the pressure on the computers is increasing. But we know that with support in the New Year we will have more computers to give more children a better chance in life,” said Mr Tamakloe.

Computers keep the pupils busy in class.
Computers keep the pupils busy in class.
Eager children attending holiday classes.
Eager children attending holiday classes.

Volta Regional librarians in Ho Municipality have had a busy three months. In just 12 weeks from July to September, the mobile library van, equipped with solar panels, laptop computers and wireless internet, travelled to five schools a total of 32 times, teaching 648 children (306 boys and 342 girls) essential computer skills.

When the school holidays began on July 25th, librarians breathed a sigh of relief. But at two shools, children were keen to carry on, and so librarians found themselves on the road again, teaching holiday classes.

The library takes the laptop computers to schools in under-developed parts of Ho Municipality in Ghana's Volta Region. The schools are seriously under-resourced. They do not have computers or intnernet connections, and electricity supply is unreliable.

With your donations through GlobalGiving, the library has bought seven more laptop computers, reducing the child to computer ratio in each class. "We were able to offer the children the opportunity to practice, in term time and during the holidays. This was made possible with the additional computers provided by the GlobalGiving Funds. We cannot thank you enough for your support," said Mr Alikem Tamakloe, Regional Librarian.

Once again, librarians focused on the children's exam needs. Key topics taught were Computer Essentials (understanding hardware and software); MS Word; MS Excel and Online Essentials (internet research and communication).

Patient children wait in line to use the laptops.
Patient children wait in line to use the laptops.
Hands-on ICT classes give children new confidence.
Hands-on ICT classes give children new confidence.

The seven new laptop computers bought with your support have given over 100 Ghanaian children new confidence and hope as they sit for their Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE), which determine entry to secondary school.

Each week, Volta Regional Library in Ho Municipality travels to six junior high schools in a van equipped with solar-charged laptops to give children hands on experience of computers and the internet. During 31 school visits reaching 308 children over the past three months, the library paid special attention to children facing the BECE this month (June).

“We hope to come out with good grades during the exams.  I can now match my friends who go to private schools in Ho, who are more endowed,” said Kafui.

“I have learnt so much during the Library’s ICT classes since last year, because we had a lot of practice on the computers brought to the school. When more computers are added to the current number I hope the next generation of students will perform wonders,” said Bridget.

Both children study at Klefe Achatime MA Junior High School, where 105 children (42 boys and 63 girls) take part in the library’s mobile computer classes. Lessons include basic computer and keyboard practice, Word and Excel, and internet skills. Over the last month, librarians organized exam preparedness tests for BECE students, rewarding good performance prizes like pencils, pens and notebooks.

“We thank God for the lives of all those who donated to the cause of our project through the GlobalGiving platform.  You have not only donated the money that bought more computers for the project, but have made the library more visible and transformed the lives of our learners. We are forever grateful,” said Mr Alikem Tamakloe, Regional Librarian.

Links:

Pupils watch technicians configure the new laptops
Pupils watch technicians configure the new laptops

Thanks to your donations, poor children in Ho Municipality in Volta Region, Ghana, have seven brand new laptop computers to practice on, and a printer to print out study notes to take home.

Volta Regional Library used funds raised to buy the equipment for their mobile training programme. Now the library has a total of 12 laptops to take to schools, reducing the number of pupils per computer in crowded classes to seven, and giving many more children the opportunity to learn practical keyboard, mouse and computing skills.

Pupils must pass Information and Communication Technology (ICT) exams to progress from basic school to senior school. Zantor, aged 16, was one lucky graduate:

‘The ICT classes organized for us by the Mobile Library Service contributed so much to my success.  I recommend that they acquire more computers so that our juniors can get more practice, and perform better in the exams,’ said Zantor.

Over the past three months, Volta Regional Library’s Mobile Library Service has conducted 19 hands on computer classes at six schools, reaching 306 pupils. With the new computers, they will reach many more.

Thank you again for your interest and support.

Hands on at last!
Hands on at last!
Children at Mawuli Basic School share a laptop
Children at Mawuli Basic School share a laptop

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Project Leader

Jean Fairbairn

Rome, Italy

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