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The Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, commissioned a computer laboratory for the Choggu Demonstration School in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern Region this week.

The Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, commissioned a computer laboratory for the Choggu Demonstration School in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern Region this week.

The 56-seater model lab, named “Yamoransa Model Lab-4”, was funded by Friends of Yamoransa Foundation (FYF) and Helping Africa Foundation (HAF), both non-profit organisations in the United States.

The laboratory, in collaboration with the Office of the Second Lady, will enhance the teaching and learning of information and communications technology (ICT), English, mathematics and science.

Robust equipment

The facility will benefit over 8,000 children from the host school and nine other surrounding schools.

Each of the unique, robust computers in the lab has 30 types of educational software for primary and junior high schools installed on it, to help with the teaching of science, technology, English and mathematics.

TECHAiDE, a technology social enterprise, has also installed its newest innovative technology, the “ASANKA”, which provides free access to educational content using any wifi-enabled device, such as a phone, tablet, laptop or computer with a wireless card.

The current version of the ASANKA installed on the computers holds over 500 educational books and videos, plus Basic Education Certificate Examination past questions for all subjects from 2010 to 2018.

The role of information technology

Delivering the keynote speech, Hajia Bawumia said ICT continues to play an important role globally in delivering services to achieve broad socio-economic goals in education, health, employment and social development.

She said many children in deprived areas of Ghana have little or no access to ICT because they lack infrastructure and adequate skilled personnel.

“As a nation, we owe a duty to the next generation, and that duty is to commit ourselves to the growth and development of our children,” she said.

World-changing effects

Deborah Rose, president of Friends of Yamoransa Foundation, shared her love for computer literacy programmes. She initiated and also co-ordinated funding for the project to enhance the teaching and learning of ICT.

Dr Rose said that the effort of setting up the model labs began with a mandate by the Ministry of Education to educate young ones in the emerging field of ICT.

Educational philosophy in the United States embraces the general liberal arts education, encompassing the humanities, the social and natural sciences, she said, rather than strictly technical or pre-professional training.

This, she believes, is the best preparation to become a citizen of the world.

Japhet Aryiku, president of the Helping Africa Foundation, also said the foundation’s essential mission is to work to improve education, health and social welfare conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, especially Ghana.

He said the dedication of the lab is in line with Dr Rose’s mission and vision to promote and spread computer literacy throughout the Ghanaian primary school system.

This is the fourth lab built by the foundation in Africa, he said.

Broad-based support

Mr Aryiku said the Yamoransa Model Lab is a development strategy by HAF and FYF to support and assist projects driven by the local community.

He urged leaders in Ghana to be fully committed to support the project in a sustainable way.

Mariam Iddrisu, municipal chief executive for Sagnarigu, said the municipality is changing trends and making great strides in the field of education by making basic education affordable and accessible to all.