Jan 14, 2020

Sustainable support for Hands-on Computer Classes

This will be our final report for the project. We wish to thank you for your donations and loyalty over the years, which have laid the foundation for extension of mobile library hands-on computer skills classes to under-resourced schools in six more regions of Ghana. 

The Hands-on Computer Classes project, in which four regional mobile libraries travelled to junior high schools that do not have computers or electricity, bringing solar-powered laptops and modem internet to give the children practical skills classes, resulted in a dramatic increase in the pass rate in ICT exams. In 2014/15, when the project started, the average pass rate for ICT in the Basic Education Certificate Exam in schools where the mobile libraries conducted classes was just 45%. Last year, in 2019, the average was 92%.

The project inspired the Ghana Investment fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), a government agency, to equip the remaining six mobile regional libraries operated by the Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) with laptop computers. This support has enabled the GhLA to transform the project into a sustainable service that will be offered in 10 regions - the four regions that we've been working with, Ashanti, Upper East, Volta and Western, and six more, Brong Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern and Upper West. 

The 10 mobile libraries will start visiting schools in the first quarter of this year. We are confident that, managed by the GhLA, the hands-on computer classes will continue to thrive and grow.

As a result of your support, thousands of children have passed the B.E.C.E. and progressed to secondary school. On behalf of everyone at EIFL, the four mobile regional libraries, the children and parents, thank you! 

To see further developments, follow the Ghana Library Authority on social media - Facebook, Twitter @ghanalibraries.

To find out more about EIFL and our work, visit www.eifl.net, or follow us on social media - Facebook, Twitter @EIFLnet.

Jan 6, 2020

Great news from our project to start the New Year!

One of the 10 ICT-equipped mobile libraries.
One of the 10 ICT-equipped mobile libraries.

We have two great pieces news to celebrate the start of the New Year!

Firstly, the mobile library Hands-on Computer Classes project has achieved its best results yet. In 2019, the average pass rate for the subject ICT in the Basic Education Certificate Exam (B.E.C.E.) for children who took part in the classes was 92%.

Secondly, your support has laid the foundation for extension of hands-on computer skills classes to under-resourced schools in six more regions of Ghana. 

The exam results achieved in 2019 continue the upward trend. In 2015, when the project started, the average pass rate in the subject ICT at B.E.C.E. level was just 45%; in 2016, in the schools where we worked, it increased to 65%; in 2017 to 81%, and in 2018 it was 85%. All the children who wrote the exam in 2019 had been taking part in the mobile libraries’ classes for three years, since Grade 1. They were able to build on their knowledge and practical skills year-by-year till Grade 3, when they sat for the B.E.C.E. Passing the B.E.C.E. is crucial because it is the exam that determines progress to secondary school.

These these remarkable results have inspired the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications to equip the remaining six mobile regional libraries operated by the Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) with laptop computers. The GhLA is now able to transform the project into a sustainable service that will be offered in 10 regions. These are the four regions that we’ve been working with - Ashanti, Upper East, Volta and Western - and six more, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern and Upper West. 

Establishment of a sustainable service, in which ICT-equipped mobile libraries in 10 regions will travel to schools that do not have computers or internet connections to teach children practical ICT skills, means that we are able to close the project, and so this will be the last report from EIFL

The six mobile libraries will start visiting schools in the first quarter of this year. In November last year, EIFL and GhLA trained librarians from the six additional regions to operate ICT-equipped mobile libraries; to plan and conduct training for schoolchildren, and to build partnerships with teachers and education officials. The trainers were librarians from Ashanti and Volta Regions with experience of conducting hands-on computer classes. 

Mr Hayford Siaw, Acting Executive Director of the GhLA, is overjoyed with the outcomes of the project. He sent this message of thanks to our GlobalGiving donors: “You have helped to build the foundation for implementation of the project across our country. We could not have achieved this without you. Thank you!” 

On behalf of everyone at EIFL, thank you for your donations and your loyalty to our project over the years. As a result of your support, thousands of children have progressed to secondary school. From there, they can go on to further study, employment and brighter futures. We are are confident that, led by the GhLA, the hands-on computer classes will continue to thrive and grow.

To see futher developments, follow the Ghana Library Authority on social media - Facebook, Twitter @ghanalibraries.

Training to extend classes to six more regions.
Training to extend classes to six more regions.
Thousands of children passed exams! Thank you!
Thousands of children passed exams! Thank you!
Oct 10, 2019

Skills and knowledge for a brighter future!

Learning skills for a brighter future in Ashanti.
Learning skills for a brighter future in Ashanti.

“Students can use the laptops with or without supervision, they have improved their knowledge in their subjects and they can answer practice exam questions preloaded on the laptops.” This is how a teacher from Ghana’s Upper East Region summed up the impact of the EIFL Hands-on Computer Classes project. 

Thanks to your support, four regional mobile libraries travel to schools in poor and rural areas every week, bringing solar-powered laptops and mobile internet to give children practical ICT classes. The laptops have been pre-loaded with educational content, which the children use to study for their exams. From January to June this year, regional libraries serving communities in Ashanti, Upper East, Volta and Western regions conducted 449 classes, reaching almost 4,000 children at 16 schools. 

Even when the mobile library vans break down the librarians and teachers work together to ensure that the classes can continue. “Some schools offered to pay for the services of a taxi to bring the laptops and the internet. Other schools came to the library during free periods and over weekends for classes,” said Yaa Agyemang Opare-Adu, Head of Programmes & Partnerships at the Ghana Library Authority.

We have had good news from the Ghana Library Authority. Inspired by the success of the Hands-on Computer Classes project, the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications has equipped the remaining six regional mobile libraries with laptops and the internet. We are now preparing a training programme for the regional librarians, in Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern and Upper West regions, so that they can provide hands-on computer classes to thousands of children in their communities. This is a huge milestone for the project. We could not have achieved it without your support. On behalf of the children, their parents and teachers, and our regional library partners, thank-you!

Hands-on computer class in action.
Hands-on computer class in action.
Lining up before class at a school in Ashanti.
Lining up before class at a school in Ashanti.
 
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