Education  Ghana Project #13333

Hands-on computer classes for 1,800 Ghana children

by EIFL
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Hands-on computer classes for 1,800 Ghana children
Hands-on computer classes for 1,800 Ghana children
Hands-on computer classes for 1,800 Ghana children
Hands-on computer classes for 1,800 Ghana children
Hands-on computer classes for 1,800 Ghana children
Hands-on computer classes for 1,800 Ghana children
Hands-on computer classes for 1,800 Ghana children
Hands-on computer classes for 1,800 Ghana children
Hands-on computer classes for 1,800 Ghana children
Hands-on computer classes for 1,800 Ghana children
Hands-on computer classes for 1,800 Ghana children
Practice makes exams easier! Class in Ashanti.
Practice makes exams easier! Class in Ashanti.

In 2018, a record 847 children who attended public library hands-on computer classes in poor and rural areas of Ghana passed technology (ICT) in the Basic Education Certificate Exam (B.E.C.E).

“I can proudly say that in 2018 ICT was the subject with the highest grades in the B.E.C.E. The project has transformed the children to become computer literates!” said the Head Teacher at Aboadze Catholic Junior High School in Western Region.

The average pass rate in 2018 marks a high-point for the Hands-on computer classes project: in 2015, when the project started, the average pass rate was just 45%; in 2016 it was 65%, in 2017 it grew to 81%, and in 2018 it was 85%.

These results are a tribute to your generous support through GlobalGiving. They are also a tribute to four years of hard work by regional librarians who, every week, travel long distances over rough roads to 20 schools bringing laptops and internet to give thousands of children hands-on experience of computers. Because textbooks are scarce, the laptops are pre-loaded with educational materials, so that the children also have the opportunity to study other school subjects.

The 847 children who passed in 2018 are from schools in Ashanti, Upper East, Volta and Western Regions.

“When we can practice, the examination becomes very easy because we always remember what we practice! The library’s classes have also helped us students to do online research - and to acquire more information about what we are taught in class,” said a student from Western Region.

Thank you again for your support. Now let’s see if we can achieve even better results in 2019.

Computer class in action, Ashanti Region.
Computer class in action, Ashanti Region.
The librarians and teachers who conduct classes.
The librarians and teachers who conduct classes.
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Anna - passed her exam and is excelling at ICT.
Anna - passed her exam and is excelling at ICT.

Anna, aged 17, is now a proud student at secondary school, and well on the way to achieving her dream of becoming a policewoman.

Thanks to your support for the EIFL Hands-on Computer Classes project, in July this year Anna (not her real name) passed the crucial Basic Education Certificate Exam (B.E.C.E), which determines progress to secondary school. To get through the B.E.C.E, children must pass their ICT exam.

“The hands-on computer classes helped me pass the ICT exam, and also my English exam, because of the reading,” said Anna.

Failing the exam would have been devastating. “It would have been the end of my education. I would have just been at home because to repeat the exam is expensive,” explained Anna, whose parents make a living from farming and trading in Volta Region in Ghana.

Anna’s story is one of many - and that is why we are asking you to join our #GivingTuesday fundraising campaign on 27 November, when we’re hoping to raise another USD5,000 to improve and continue the project.  

Through the project, 1,800 children attending 17 under-resourced schools in four regions of Ghana attend practical computer skills classes offered by mobile libraries. Library vans packed with solar-charged laptops, modem internet, screens and projectors travel to each school three times a month. During each visit, librarians conduct two practical computer skills classes. The laptops are pre-loaded with educational materials, and so - in schools where textbooks are scarce - the children also have the opportunity to read and study.

In 2017 the project contributed to an 81% pass rate in the ICT exam at B.E.C.E. level at 17 schools in the four regions. This is a remarkable 36% more than in 2015, when the project started.

Our #GivingTuesday fundraising campaign will help us improve the quality of the classes. Help us to celebrate our project’s great results by donating through the GlobalGiving platform, and by sharing our project through your social media and networks with others who might be interested in offering support.

“The library’s classes have changed my future. I need the skills, because I know they use computers in the police stations. Thank-you so much!” said Anna.

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Inserting photos into documents (Ashanti Region).
Inserting photos into documents (Ashanti Region).

April, May and June are tough months for students in their third year of basic education in Ghana. Those are the months when they prepare for the B.E.C.E. - the exam they must pass to enter secondary school.

So the four regional public libraries (Ashanti, Upper East, Volta and Western) that - with your support - are travelling to under-resourced schools bringing laptops and modem internet to give the students essential hands-on computer experience have been very busy.

On average, each library visited three to five schools three times a month, conducting two practical computer skills classes during each visit. The libraries reached 1,500 children. In addition to learning how to use computers and the internet, the children were able to study and practise answering exam questions using educational materials that have been pre-loaded to the laptops.

They wrote their exams in June, and we’re still waiting for the results. The teachers and children are confident, and we’ll update you in our next report, so that you can see how your support has made a difference. Fingers crossed!

After the exams, everyone relaxed a bit, and the librarians spent time teaching some fun skills - like drawing and inserting photos into documents. “It is like playing,” said an excited young learner from Ashanti Region as she created and coloured shapes with the drawing tool.

Overall, the librarians and teachers are impressed with their student's progress. “The progress so far is amazing - especially the Form 1 pupils (aged around 12) who are able to use MS Word and Excel much faster than before,” said the mobile librarian in Ashanti Region.

Thank-you for your support!

Formatting MS Word documents (Volta Region).
Formatting MS Word documents (Volta Region).
Writing and sending emails (Ashanti Region).
Writing and sending emails (Ashanti Region).
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Anna is confident she will pass her exam.
Anna is confident she will pass her exam.

Anna, aged 16, who goes to school in Volta Region, Ghana, is one of 500,000 children who have just completed writing the 2018 Basic Education Certificate Examination (B.E.C.E.). Now the nervous wait for exam results begins.

Children who pass the B.E.C.E. qualify to enter secondary school. Poorer families cannot afford to keep their children at school, and so failure means children leave school early.

Anna says she is confident that she will pass - thanks to you!

For the past three years Anna has been attending her regional library’s hands-on computer classes. With your support, mobile libraries in four regions of Ghana travel to 17 under-resourced schools bringing solar-charged laptop computers and modem internet to give over 3,000 children practical experience of computers and the internet. To help children cope with the lack of textbooks, the computers have been preloaded with educational content related to the school curriculum.

Anna has good reason to be confident. Last year, 81% of children who took part in the library’s hands-on computer classes passed ICT in the B.E.C.E. So good luck Anna - to you, your classmates and the thousands of other children who have just written this crucial exam!

Through your donations, we’ve raised another US$3,850. In May we sent the mobile regional libraries almost US$1,000 each to support the hands-on computer classes. Thank-you again for your generosity.

Children carry laptops and equipment into class.
Children carry laptops and equipment into class.
Thank-you for your support! Students, Volta Region
Thank-you for your support! Students, Volta Region
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Hands-on computer classes in Volta Region.
Hands-on computer classes in Volta Region.

The mobile library Hands-on Computer Classes are in high demand this year, following excellent results in the 2017 Basic Education Certificate Examination (B.E.C.E.) in which 81% of children at 17 schools passed their ICT exam.

Once again, thank you to everyone who has supported the Hands-on Computer Classes project - from the children and their parents, the teachers, the libraries and EIFL!

With your support, mobile libraries in four regions of Ghana are taking solar-charged laptop computers and modem internet connections to under-resourced schools in poor and rural areas to give children practical experience of digital technology. The computers are pre-loaded with e-books and other material related to the school curriculum - vital e-resources for schoolchildren who have very few textbooks.

The four regions are Ashanti, Upper East, Volta and Western. This year, the libraries are reaching over 2,000 children at 18 schools in grades 1, 2 and 3. For grade 3, the libraries’ classes are especially important, because at the end of grade 3 children write the B.E.C.E., which determines progress to secondary school. Children who complete secondary school can enter further education, improving their chances in life. For children in grades 1 and 2, the classes are valuable building blocks for the future.

Because the schools are rural and the roads are rough, the library vans have taken a battering. But the librarians are up to the challenge! In Upper East Region, the head of the Regional Library reports that they are using the library’s pick-up truck while the van is out of action so that the children do not miss classes. "We are still taking the laptops to schools. We will get our library van back up and running soon," he said.

In Volta Region, the situation is similar. Despite difficulties maintaining the van, the library is visiting six junior high schools. The teachers and children are really happy. “The mobile library service has reshaped the quality of teaching and learning by tackling the practical aspect of learning which has been a long standing problem,” an enthusiastic teacher told the Volta Regional Library.

Ashanti regional librarians with the EIFL team.
Ashanti regional librarians with the EIFL team.
Computer class in Ashanti Region.
Computer class in Ashanti Region.
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Organization Information

EIFL

Location: Vilnius, Lithuania - Lithuania
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @EIFLnet
Project Leader:
Jean Fairbairn
Vilnius, Lithuania

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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