LING Prioritizes Innovative Literacy, STEM Skills For Girls In Northern Ghana

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Rural communities in the Northern Region of Ghana continue to suffer a great deal of injustices regarding resource allocations.

Educational crises continue to be the normal trend in the region putting the children at a constant disadvantage compared to their peers from the urban centers and other regions.

Girls, especially, suffer the most educational disadvantages driving them to early marriages or migration to urban centers in search of menial jobs to support their families. Northern Ghana also has a persistent generational cycle of poverty especially when children are born into poverty.

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The LING Project was created in 2020 to help solve some of these problems that students, especially girls, are facing in Northern Ghana. LING was created and incorporated in 2020 after successfully piloting community-based literacy clubs in two electoral areas in Tamale communities, Changni and Lamashegu respectively. These pilot programs were a part of a collaborative project with two foreign organizations, LEXPLORE and the Mirai Partners. LEXPLORE donated hardware components, the Artificial Intelligent (AI) while Mirai Partners helped with the content and scripted literacy intervention. LING organized these resources together and used them to evaluate pupils’ literacy levels and produce a PD session for program volunteers to help solve pupil illiteracy and address difficulties acquiring literacy skills. After LING’s interventions, the program saw impressive feedback with students reading fluently and performing better in school academic coursework. Pupils saw remarkable improvements in their test scores and other subject disciplines due to LING’s programs.

LEXPLORE ASSESSMENT – Literacy Assessment

In addition to literacy programs, LING also focuses on STEM and technology skills for students in Northern Ghana. Currently, technology information and knowledge in schools lags behind the formative and advanced levels of technology in Ghana’s every day society. STEM literacy offers practical skills that apply to all levels of education and helps equip young students for the innovative future of technology. LING identified this academic area as one of its priorities for advancing students’ success.

One of LING’s STEM programs aims to create positive impacts on students as well as their families. In Kpanvo, a farming community in the Tamale Local Authority of Northern Ghana, students conducted field tests with Stem Punks #Smart Garden tools, created by the Australian company STEM PUNKs & #Micro: Bits. Many of these students’ parents were subsistence farmers so these tools were essential not only to their learning, but their wellbeing as well. This Smart Garden tool provides a unique and interactive way for students and their families to explore STEM and technology.

#Micro:Bit coding session – STEM (Coding & Field exploration)

Students used the tool to test water levels, temperature, and moisture levels for soil samples in their parents’ farmland to determine suitable growth for crops. These samples were observed over a 15-day period to help determine optimal conditions for proper crop growth. After the 15-day period, students were able to develop better agricultural practices to improve crop growth for their own families. These results and new knowledge helped students gain more innovative STEM skills and help to improve their family’s crop yields which helped their families’ transition out of poverty.

LING wants to increase its work in the Northern region of Ghana to help improve life-long learning and literacy skills for all children, especially girls and other marginalized communities, in order to help them secure a better future. This adapted approach to literacy and STEM learning aims to provide knowledgeable, creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial skills to students which will be key assets in the 21st century. These skills will also allow them to be more responsible and productive members in today’s growing society.

Writer: Abdul-Razak Issah (Executive Director) – LING Project

 

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