A tragic death of a three-year-old boy has attracted the sympathy of the Coral Reef Innovation Hub, an Accra-based bespoke educational technology solutions provider to construct US$20,000 ‘Smart’ classroom at Nyinase in the Nkoranza South Municipality of the Bono East Region.
Barely five years ago, Kwabena Kaneayiro lost track of his mother she was following to pick food stuffs for the household at the Kwafre farms, covering about 3,000 acres, near Nyinase.
The Ghana News Agency (GNA) gathered that the deceased did not go to school on that fateful day because his elder siblings were unable to accompany him to walk several kilometres to the nearest village in the area.
So, the boy went missing, while following his mother to the farm and out of tiredness and fear found a place to lay, only for his skeletal remains to be discovered after a fire outbreak six month later.
Upon hearing the tragic incident, the Hub visited and held extensive discussions with the Managing Director of the Kwafre Farms, Mr James Obeng Boateng, also the 2018 National Best Farmer for the establishment of the ‘Smart classroom’ to alleviate the plight of the young children to easily access formal education.
Inaugurating the facility, Mr Richard Osei Anim, the Chief Executive Officer, Coral Reef Innovations Hub, described the incident as sad and unfortunate, and promised his organisation’s preparedness to create an enabling environment for school children to access quality education.
The facility has transformational content, including; 25 tablets for school children, a teacher’s laptop, a projector, robotics kits as well as contents to be accessed on a control access point in videos, text, pictures and other formats for practical teaching and learning, charging units and training for volunteer teachers.
It also has an after-school programme that includes; problem-solving, creative and critical thinking games and other innovative kits.
“The tragic death of the boy spurred our efforts to get the school set up so that young children can spend time being creative and problem solving, during and after school to avoid wandering around in the forest especially when their parents are not home”, Mr Anim stated.
Since access and retention of teachers remained a major concern, Mr Anim explained his organisation and partners were engaging key stakeholders, including Ghana Education Service (GES), the Teach for Ghana, and the Peace Corps to assign volunteer teachers to the facility.
“The volunteer teachers would greatly support our efforts at utilizing technologies to bridge the gap in knowledge and human resource access by ensuring teachers in other locations can also render virtual teaching and learning facilitation support to the school”, he said.
To ensure sustainability of the project, Mr Anim explained the Coral Reef Innovation Hub together with Mr Boateng was engaging the Nkoranza South Municipal Assembly and the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) to extend communication services, support training and extension of electricity to the area.
This would enhance access to the internet to tap into educational resources and experts across the country and the world to support ICT education for the kids in the farm school.
On his part, Mr Boateng said the facility would benefit and motivate school-going age children in the more than 17 households and 15 villages within the farm’s enclave to stay in school.
Nana Baffo Agyei, the Chief of Nyinase, thanked the organisation for the facility, and appealed for support for the construction of classroom blocks for the local Nyinase Primary and Junior High School.