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NGO slams gov'ts one laptop per child policy

Betty Mould Iddrisu, Minister of Education

Betty Mould Iddrisu, Minister of Education

A Non Governmental Organization, Savannah Signatures, promoting the study of Information and Communication Technology in Northern Ghana has disapproved of government’s one child per laptop policy.

Mr. Steven Agbenyo, Executive Director of the Savannah Signatures advised government to focus on providing the needed infrastructure in basic schools to facilitate the study of ICT rather than trying to “Waste” resources on acquiring laptops for distribution to school pupils.

Steven Agbenyo’s criticism came in support of a similar assertion made by Dr. Kwadwo Adjei Tutu, a senior Lecturer at the Economics Department of the University of Ghana who described the one child per laptop policy as “Bogus and a misplaced priority”.

The lecturer at a press conference on Monday September 1, was emphatic that the Mills-Mahama led NDC administration could be charged for causing financial loss to the state with the distribution of 6,000 laptops to pupil’s, when the same resources could be used to provide libraries, books and proper supervision for pupils.

Steven Agbenyo who added his voice to the brouhaha surrounding the one child per laptop policy in an exclusive interview with Citi News questioned the rationale behind making the study of ICT an examinable subject at the Junior High School level when there were no resources to support the course.

The Savannah Signatures Executive Director raised these concerns on the sidelines at a day’s stakeholder workshop on the use of ICT’s in managing patient’s data for an effective health delivery system in Ghana.

Steven Agbenyo maintained that the scale of priority on the one laptop per child had been misplaced because government failed to conduct proper feasibility studies before implementing the policy.

According to the Savannah Signatures Executive Director, there are schools in the heart of the Tamale metropolis (names withheld) that cannot boast of a single computer and its accessories.

He added that the region lacked teachers to handle the ICT subject in many schools that do not have access to electricity.

On the way forward, Mr. Steven Agbenyo advised the Ministry of Education to put on hold the initiative of making the ICT subject examinable at the Junior High School level and ensure the fair distribution of ICT logistics to all schools nationwide.

Mr. Hassan Hamidu, Upper East regional ICT Coordinator from the National Health Insurance Authority stressed the need for the NHIS to play a key role in implementing the use of ICT in data collection at the various health institutions nationwide.

He emphasized that ICT education should be made mandatory to all health professionals whose services are indispensable in nation building.

Mr. Hassan Hamidu therefore impressed upon health professionals particularly Doctors to go beyond folders and automate patients’ data to ensure quick recovery when necessary.

Savannah Signatures in collaboration with the Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS) is promoting the study of ICT in the three regions of the north.

By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/Citifmonline. com


Accra, Ghana
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