Mrs Sally Ofori-Yeboah, National Director, Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) GHANA, says children, especially those in rural areas, need to be accorded maximum support and attention to help them thrive.
She has therefore called on stakeholders to implement child-centred programmes and initiatives to facilitate their overall development.
“Children continue to need our support anywhere they find themselves, especially for rural communities, it’s important that stakeholders continue to run support to provide children what’s due them irrespective of where they are in the world.
“They didn’t choose to be there and so the system must go out of its way to provide the needed support so they can thrive and do well,” she said.
Mrs Ofori-Yeboah made the call on Monday during the Mobile Learning Lab (MLL) Project Stakeholders Sustainability Meeting held in Accra.
The meeting afforded stakeholders the opportunity to reflect on the impacts made by the MLL programme and discuss ways by which it can be sustained.
The project titled:“Young women leading the use of Mobile Learning Labs in Ghana” is a one-year project funded by the 60 Million Girls Fund.
It seeks to address two major issues facing rural students in Ghana namely; school attendance and quality of education.
The Director noted that the project had been piloted in the Northern and Central regions of Ghana with 46 schools being beneficiaries.
She said it targeted upper primary and Junior High School pupils with an offer of first-hand experience of learning with technology.
Mrs Ofori-Yeboah urged beneficiary schools to create more space for the inclusion of the sessions in their school’s curriculum.
Mr Patrick Atta Buabeng, Research and Learning Senior Officer, CAMFED Ghana, said at the end of the piloting phase, it was realised that the programme had improved the quality of delivery of basic education for students in rural and marginalized communities.
He said it had also increased the prominence of young women in their communities by giving educated rural young women the opportunity to take the lead in bringing technology into their rural schools.
Mr Buabeng said E-learning methods made learning easier and increased learners’ enthusiasm to acquire more knowledge using relatively affordable mobile technology.
He said it also promoted child-centred teaching and learning.
Mr Buabeng added that it enhanced learners’ confidence and skillfulness in using ICT resources for learning.
The teachers and head teachers present at the meeting praised CAMFED for the project and asked for its continuity.
They said the sessions held at their schools increased confidence and adeptness of learners in usage of smart devices, improved reading skills, generated high enthusiasm in learners to explore the internet for knowledge and helped teachers to have access to content for additional learning resources, amongst others.
Ms Gifty Koufie and Ms Helena Andoh, both MLL facilitators in the Central Region, said the project improved their communication skills, and enhanced their Information Technology and research abilities.
Ms Koufie said some of the challenges included the difficulty in recruiting volunteers, inadequate tablets and hitches with the Remote Area Community Hotspots for Education and Learning (RACHEL) devices.
She said some beneficiaries had sessions under trees, leading to constant distractions and loss of concentration from the learners.
Ms Koufie mentioned bad road network as another challenge.
She suggested that the transportation quota allocated to facilitators should be increased, as well as, the tablets used during the sessions.