How can Technology Transform Education in Ghana?

The Ghanaian education system
today is in a bad state with massive
failures in primary education, the
length of secondary school cycles in
constant flux, and the major
universities altering admissions
procedures and course materials.
However, the overlying conclusion
that can be drawn from all this is that
the Ghanaian Education system today
is woefully inadequate and in need of
immediate reform. Technology, on
the other hand, is rapidly gaining
acceptance in the country and is
proving its benefits to players in the
public and private sector. Here we
examine three ways technology can
transform education in Ghana.
Teaching Methods .Over the world,
the rise of the Internet and the dawn
of the technological age has led to
advances and radical changes in the
way things are done. Education has
not been left out here. Technology
has transformed teaching methods to
make it much easier for students to
grasp concepts quickly. This is
especially true in science education
where videos can be used to help
students visualize forces in physics,
organic structures in biology and
molecular structures in Chemistry.
Universities in this country can make
use of these technologies to improve
science education. Cost may not
even be much of a factor, as there
are several free resources available.
As Mashable reports: ‘The Concord
Consortium, a non-profit organization
that develops technologies for math,
science and engineering education,
has been a leader in developing free,
open source software that teachers
can use to model concepts.’
Globalisation is an oft-talked about
concept that encompasses the
coming together of the various
peoples of the world through
technologies such as the internet and
advances in aviation and
collaboration. In Ghana, the effects of
globalization are very much in
evidence, with many foreign nationals
living and working here. Ghanaians
today do not find it strange to
encounter or work in foreign-owned
businesses or to hear of project
collaboration between the Ghanaian
and a foreign government. It is thus
necessary for the understanding and
appreciation of foreign cultures to be
a part of our educational system.
Many schools around the country
now attach the term ‘International’ to
their names, yet few of these can be
said to be truly international in
respect to having a diverse foreign
student population. The technology
of today such as video-conferencing
facilities and social media can allow
students in classrooms in Ghana to
interact with other students from
around the world and understand
their culture. Today, free Internet
technologies can provide the benefits
of student exchanges without the
cost of actual travel.
Real Work Conditions. One of the
laments of tertiary education
students and businesses around
Ghana today is that the courses
taught them do not adequately
prepare them for working life. In the
area of technology use this is
especially true. Many students first
take basic computing courses when
they arrive in University and current
systems are structured that students
barely need to spend much time in
front of a computer to graduate well.
Accounting students around the
country are often able to graduate
from accounting courses without
gaining proficiency in any accounting
software. Technology should be
integrated in our teaching systems,
allowing our students to familiarize
themselves with the fast paced and
highly demanding tech world at an
early age and for a long period
before entering the job market. These
measures would help our youth to be
better prepared to enter workplaces
where e-mails are the main means of
communication, videoconferences are
frequently held, documents are kept
‘in the cloud’ and the computer use
is constant.
Most often Ghanaians share the view
that technology is ‘expensive’.
However, the few proposals
discussed here are an example of
some of the technology-driven
improvements that can be made to
our education system at little to no
cost. Today, this nation takes a
serious look at how we can transform
our education systems to dispense
with high rates of failure and inability
of graduates to perform on the
workplace. As shown here,
technology can and should be a part
of any such overhaul to ensure the
youth of Ghana are given the best
possible chance of success in a
fast-changing world.
-Terence Adjei-Otchwemah
Executive, Product Marketing &
Media Relations

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