Coral Reef Innovation Lab and its partners have engaged decision makers at private basic schools in Tamale on integrating educational technologies into education delivery towards improving teaching and learning outcomes.
The move, which is to increase access to technology and digital tools that deliver education, has also become apparent, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic where the use of technological devices has become integral towards the process of providing continuing education.
About 13 private basic schools were engaged in Tamale in an event, which formed part of the “Edtech Ghana Hackathons and Info Session Road Trip 2021” embarked upon by Coral Reef Innovation Lab to engage decision-makers at private basic schools in all the 16 regions of the country on integrating technology into education delivery.
The Edtech Ghana Hackathons and Info Session Road Trip 2021 seeks to foster inclusion, quality education, promote Science, Technology, Arts and Maths (STEAM) for girls and digital literacy as part of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and set up smart laboratories, which will be funded by corporate organisations, charitable clubs, and international organisations.
The Tamale event was the first in the series.
The Coral Reef Innovation Lab is a tech hub that is focused on introducing technology to influence the way people live and do business.
With a strong focus on driving education through technology, Coral Reef Innovation Lab aims to provide all educational centres with digital laboratories, tool teachers and facilitators with state-of-the-art digital devices, train and resource service providers with the necessary information to deliver world class education in the country and beyond.
As a specialty organisation, it has partnered with producers of digital devices, software, and content providers from all over the world to ensure the integration of cutting-edge technologies into education.
Mr Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, Project Lead, Education Technologies Tour, Coral Reef Innovation Lab, who led the discussions with participants during the engagement with the private basic school managers in Tamale, said the technologies would help teachers to manage their classrooms properly.
Coral Reef Innovation Lab’s full stack solutions included tablets for students and laptops for teachers, access points for storing educational content such as videos, audio, text amongst others, virtual library with access to over three million titles, solar E-classrooms for areas not connected to the national electricity grid, training for teachers for management of the library and educational technologies and coding and robotics devices and training.
Mr Adu-Gyamfi said, “We expect that as the government is engaging public schools and making investments in public schools, we develop solutions that also enable private schools to have access to these technologies.”
Participants discussed the challenges and prospects of integrating technologies into improving teaching and learning, and overall educational outcomes stating lack of government support, limited opportunity for capacity building for education managers and teachers, limited infrastructure, and challenges with access to the needed tools and equipment as being barriers to integrating technologies into education in Tamale and by extension the northern part of the country.
They called for partnership with Coral Reef to assist in building the capacity of schools with solutions offered and through access to flexible financing options to set up smart laboratories as well as the need for public-private partnership to augment some community resource centres and or the Community Innovation Centres for the cluster of schools to collaborate and access the facility as part of efforts to enhance educational outcomes.
Mr Adu-Gyamfi said “Coral Reef Innovation Lab and partners are keen to developing the enabling environment for inclusivity and access to cutting edge technologies in Northern Ghana through the set-up of a community of practice and enhancing access to tools and equipment to bridge existing gaps.”
Reverend Jones Frimpong Kwarteng, Proprietor, Meridian Community School Complex, described the engagement as “An eye-opener because we have always been thinking of incorporating ICT into what we do at schools.”
Rev Kwarteng said “With the approach by Coral Reef where they are able to get the banks to partner with the schools to do business; that is laudable and we believe that at the end of the day, it will all inure to the benefit of the school children that we are raising. So, we stand to gain a lot because all the children will be ICT literates.”