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
Sharing and caring - girls prepare for exams.
Sharing and caring - girls prepare for exams.

We are delighted to share with you the excellent exam results for hundreds of children who learnt practical computer skills through the Hands on computer classes project.

This year, 81% of children at 17 under-resourced schools in Ghana passed the information and communication technology (ICT) exam at Basic Education Certificate Exam (B.E.C.E.) level.

The B.E.C.E. exam is crucial because it is the exam that determines entry to secondary school. Children from poor families who fail the B.E.C.E. often drop out and face uncertain futures because their parents cannot afford to keep them in school.

In 2015, the first year of the project, 45% of the children at schools that took part in the project passed the ICT exam. The sharp increase to 81% this year is a tribute to your support, and to three years of hard work by mobile librarians in four regions - Ashanti, Upper East, Western and Volta.

With your donations, librarians travel to poor and rural schools every week in library vans packed with solar-charged laptops, modem internet, screens and projectors. The computers are pre-loaded with content related to school subjects like geography, mathematics, science and English. At the schools, the librarians and teachers conduct practical computer skills classes for the children, many of whom had never seen or touched a computer before the project began.

This year, the mobile libraries taught over 3,000 children (1,732 boys and 1,404 girls) in grades 1, 2 and 3. The children, parents and teachers are overjoyed with the exam results.

“The mobile library service has reshaped the quality of teaching and learning at our school by tackling the practical aspect of learning which has been a longstanding problem,” said a teacher at Kpenoe M.A. Junior High School in Volta Region.

On behalf of the children, their parents, the teachers, and the librarians - thank you for your support! EIFL wishes you the very best for the holiday season and for 2018.

 

The teachers and librarians who worked together.
The teachers and librarians who worked together.
Hands-on! The laptops helped the children pass.
Hands-on! The laptops helped the children pass.
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'I can open folders and type fast on the laptops!'
'I can open folders and type fast on the laptops!'

Keyboard skills, word processing, Excel, researching the internet, Google email and games - as 2017 draws to a close, schoolchildren from 17 under-resourced schools in four regions of Ghana listed some of the vital technology skills learnt through the EIFL Hands-on Computer Classes project.

Your support made it possible for us to send US$1,750 to the regional libraries this year, helping them to to teach more children essential practical computer skills. Thank you!

We’re happy to share with you results from two of the four regions served by the project: Upper East and Volta, where mobile libraries travelled to 10 schools, reaching 1,417 children. The library vans were packed with solar-charged laptops, modem internet, screens and projectors. The computers were all loaded with content related to school subjects like geography, mathematics, science and English, as well as practice exam questions and other useful and fun learning tools.

In Volta Region, the mobile library conducted practical skills classes in five schools, reaching 562 children (244 boys and 318 girls). The classes were in such high demand that the mobile library continued to visit schools during the holidays.

“My son Emmanuel is so much excited about the computer classes, and his attendance and punctuality at school have improved. I’ve seen improvement in his ICT grades in class and there is cloud of excitement around him when going to school,” said the guardian of a pupil at Kpenoe Ma Junior High School in Volta Region.

In Upper East Region, the mobile library classes reached 855 children (428 boys and 427 girls) in Grades 1, 2, and 3. The two biggest schools were Gaari Gbani Junior High School, where 286 children attended the library’s classes, and Tedam Junior High School, where the library taught 240 children. “In these schools it’s a challenge. The children are eager to learn and are happy even when sharing the 15 laptops we bring - but ideally, we should have more laptops to improve learning,” said the regional librarian.

Over 430 children in the five schools reached in Upper East Region wrote the 2017 Basic Education Certificate Exam B.E.C.E) - the exam that determines progress to secondary school. They have done well: librarians interviewed 80 B.E.C.E. candidates at Gaari Gbani Junior High School, and all had passed.

Your support has made a huge difference to the futures of hundreds of children. Thank you again, and all the best for the holiday season and the New Year!

'I know I will pass my technology exams.'
'I know I will pass my technology exams.'
Helping unload the computers from the library van.
Helping unload the computers from the library van.
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Students practising their keyboard skills.
Students practising their keyboard skills.

My name is Alix Halloran and I am GlobalGiving's Field Traveler in West Africa. I spent five months traveling around the region meeting with GlobalGiving's incredible nonprofit partners.  I was so excited for the opportunity to meet the regional librarians in Ghana who implement the EIFL Hands-on computer classes project.

With support from EIFL, the regional librarians use their mobile libraries to reach out to students in four regions of Ghana. During my visit, I got to tag along as the library team in Ho visited schools in the Volta Region. The students at these schools do not have access to computer labs or laptops. This makes preparing for their exams on ICT skills very tough! The mobile library brings the laptops to the kids each week for practical lessons.

I could tell that the ICT lessons are the highlight of the kids' week. All of the kids were eager to tell me everything they're learning to do on the laptops and expressed that they feel much more confident. They know that this will help them with their exams but will also be an important skill for their future careers. The teachers are excited too as they see exam scores improve and ICT theory classes having more of an impact with a practical component.

I am so grateful for all of EIFL's donors for helping their project to succeed. The mobile libraries’ impact in Ghana is very impressive and it would not be possible without your help!

Field trip: Seva, Charles, Me (Alix), and David.
Field trip: Seva, Charles, Me (Alix), and David.
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Agona Nkwanta Catholic school, Western Region.
Agona Nkwanta Catholic school, Western Region.

Using email to write to family members living abroad; being able to help others to connect to the internet on mobile phones, and applying to study at colleges that only accept online applications.

These are activities that people in developed countries take for granted - but for children in Ghana, they are new and special skills. They are the top three benefits of the EIFL Hands-on Computer Classes project listed by children at Maakro D/A Junior High School, in Ashanti Region, in a short survey.

“Thank you for your support. This project is great - for the children who are gaining practical skills, and for the teachers who no longer have to teach children about computers in the abstract,” said Mr Ofosu Frimpong, Mobile Regional Librarian in Ashanti Region, who conducted the survey on 26 May 2017.

The project got off to a good start this year. From January to April, your donations, US$1,748, enabled the four mobile regional libraries in Ashanti, Upper East, Volta and Western regions to conduct 200 computer classes for over 2,800 children at 17 under-resourced junior high schools. This is over 1,000 more than the project’s goal of reaching 1,800 children.

The mobile libraries take solar-charged laptop computers pre-loaded with e-books and e-resources related to the school curriculum, and modem internet connections, to under-resourced schools, to give children vital hands-on computer and internet skills and access to learning materials which the schools cannot provide.

The children benefiting from the classes are 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 Basic Education Certificate Exam, which determines progress to secondary school. Children who complete secondary school have the potential to enter further education and to get better jobs. For children in grades 1 and 2, the classes are valuable building blocks for the future.

Reading e-books , Takyiman Presby school, Ashanti.
Reading e-books , Takyiman Presby school, Ashanti.
Ashanti Regional Mobile Librarian, Ofosu Frimpong.
Ashanti Regional Mobile Librarian, Ofosu Frimpong.

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Exam revision using the laptops.
Exam revision using the laptops.

Children, their parents, teachers and headmasters are overjoyed with the exam results achieved with the help of the Hands-on Computer Classes project. So are the regional public librarians who travelled hundreds of kilometers on rough and dusty roads every week to offer thousands of children practical computer and internet classes.

The project has contributed to a remarkable 20% average increase in the information and communications technology (ICT) exam pass rate at 25 under-resourced schools in four regions of Ghana (Ashanti, Western, Upper East and Volta).

With your support, EIFL was able to equip library vans with laptop computers and modem internet, projectors, screens and solar panels to charge the equipment. The equipment was used in practical computer classes and for study in other subjects, like English and mathematics.

To watch EIFL’s video about the project, click here: http://bit.ly/2m7gMQC

The project has more than succeeded in its aim of helping children attending schools that do not have computers, internet connections or electricity to pass their ICT exams:

  • In less than a year the project taught 3,800 children in grades 1, 2 and 3 at the 25 schools to use computers and the internet. This is more than double the number of children the libraries originally planned to reach.
  • The hands-on classes increased the 2016 ICT exam pass rate to 65% - that is 20% more than in 2015.
  • The hands-on classes helped over 700 children in Grade 3 to pass ICT in the Basic Education Certificate Exam - the exam that determines progress to secondary school.

Esther, who dreams of being a television news presenter when she leaves school, and her friend Herbert, who wants to be a doctor, are two of the lucky children who passed the ICT exam. “The computers and internet helped me pass the ICT exam, and other subjects,” said Esther. “The computers are going to help me do research on diseases and how to solve them,” said Herbert.

Thanks to your support, Esther and Herbert are now proud secondary school students - and one step closer to achieving their dreams.

Esther - now a proud secondary school student!
Esther - now a proud secondary school student!
Herbert - one step closer to achieving his dream!
Herbert - one step closer to achieving his dream!
The library reaches a school in Ashanti region.
The library reaches a school 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

Funded Project!

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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