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.
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.
“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!
It’s exam time again in Ghana! Children across the country - including almost a thousand lucky students who learnt practical computer skills through the EIFL Hands-on Computer Classes project - sat for their Basic Education Certificate Exam (B.E.C.E.) in June.
Over the last quarter, regional libraries have been travelling to under-resourced and rural schools in four regions of Ghana (Ashanti, Upper East, Volta and Western) in vans equipped with laptops and modem internet to give the children vital hands-on computer practice and to help them prepare for their exams.
The librarians are positive that their young students will pass. Without this technology, provided with your donations through GlobalGiving, the children would only have learnt about computers in the abstract. Now they can confidently identify different parts of a computer; they can use the keyboard and type, and they know how to connect to the internet, to use search engines like Google and to communicate through email.
From March to June, the libraries reached over 2,570 children in Grades 1, 2 and 3, and conducted 240 ICT classes at 16 junior high schools. Class time was also dedicated to improving the children’s proficiency in other school subjects, using curriculum-based content preloaded to the laptops. To practise for the B.E.C.E. Grade 3 children answered past exam papers that were also preloaded to the laptops.
Ashanti Regional Library has been using the laptops in ICT classes for youth at weekends. “We had 37 children at the first lesson, and the number has been increasing each week,” said the regional librarian.
In their classes, Volta Regional Library includes 30-minute sessions in which children read aloud from the laptops to improve their literacy skills. They have also been using the laptops in quizzes. “We award prizes to the best performing students and the best performing groups,” said the regional librarian.
In Western Region, word about the success of the library’s Hands-on Computer Classes has spread and three more schools have asked to be included. “We’re looking at the best ways of including them,” said the regional librarian.
Thank-you again for your support - and watch out for our next report, when we’ll bring you the results of the 2019 B.E.C.E!
We’re happy to bring you stories about two successful students of the Ghana public library Hands-on Computer Classes project. Both children passed the Basic Education Certificate Exam (B.E.C.E.) with excellent grades, and have progressed to secondary school. The project, in which mobile libraries packed with equipment travel to under-resourced schools to conduct practical computer skills classes, helped them pass the subject ICT (computers and the internet).
Cliff from Ashanti Region, achieved a Grade 1 pass for his ICT exam in 2018. He is now a student at Adu Gyamfi Senior High School, where he is concentrating on the subject General Science - his dream is to become a medical doctor. Cliff’s family cannot afford a home computer, and the hands-on computer classes have had a great impact on his life. During the gap between basic school and secondary school, he was able to get a job at an internet café. “I could be productive in my holidays, help others - and earn some money,” he said.
Mary, from Upper East Region, scored a Grade 2 pass in ICT, and is now at Bongo Senior High School. “What I liked most about the library’s weekly classes was learning to use the internet. I now have an email address, I can go into my in-box and receive messages from friends, relatives and teachers. Thank-you for helping me pass my B.E.C.E!” said Mary.
The four regional public library vans have been off the road for a short while, for much-needed refurbishing and maintenance. Newly painted bright green, and packed with solar-powered computers and modem internet bought with your support, the vans will start travelling to schools again in May 2019.
Children from poor and rural areas who fail the B.E.C.E. - the exam that determines progress to secondary school - often drop out because their families cannot afford to keep them in school. In 2018, 85% of the children who attended the libraries’ practical computer skills classes passed ICT in the B.E.C.E. In 2015, when the project started, the average pass-rate was just 45%.
“I can proudly say that ICT was the subject with the highest and best grades in the B.E.C.E in 2018,” said a teacher from Western Region, Ghana.
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