Mr Daniel Owiredu, the Nkoranza South Municipal Chief Executive, at the weekend, inaugurated a ‘Smart classroom’ constructed at the cost of US$20,000 at the Kwafre Farms, near Nyinase in the Bono East Region.
The facility, a renovated classroom block, is furnished with transformational content, including 25 tablets for school children, a teachers laptop, robotic kits for tinkering and innovating with, access to an e-library with over three million titles.
It also has an after-school programme that includes problem-solving, creative and critical thinking games, other innovation kits and a charging unit.
Coral REEF Innovation Lab, an Accra-based company utilizing digital technology to improve the chances of school children, in partnership with Mr James Obeng Boateng, the 2018 National Best Farmer, constructed the classroom to aid the school children within 3,000-acre farm’s enclave to access world-class education in ICT.
Mr Owiredu highlighted the importance of ICT education and said the Assembly commitment to ensure school children in rural communities advanced in ICT.
He said technology had advanced globally and the government was working hard to bridge the existing ICT gap in rural and urban areas for every Ghanaian child to easily access ICT education and advance in technology.
Mr Owiredu, therefore, lauded the facility and commended Lab for the facility, saying the assembly would also ensure it was maintained to benefit the school children.
Mr Kwadwo Agyekum, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza South, said no child in the country should be denied ICT education regardless of his or her background, family and location.
He said it remained his vision to build an ultra-modern robotic and ICT centre in the Nkoranza Municipality, saying basic consultation had been done with the Assembly in that regard.
“We want to create a niche so that in the next few years, the Nkoranza Municipality would be the lead producer of ICT experts in the country,” the MP stated.
Mr Richard Osei Anim, the Chief Executive Officer of the Coral REEF Innovation Lab, said he was worried about the existing disparity in ICT education between the rich and the poor as well as between rural and urban communities.
He said the curricula and content of the facility would help the school children develop interest, and build their inherent entrepreneurial skills so they would grow to become successful entrepreneurs.
Mr Anim called on the Nyinase community to take good care of the facility, saying the lab would visit and conduct regular assessments on the impact of the facility and that would determine his organisation’s continuous support to the community.
Mr Boateng, also the Managing Director of the Kwafre Farms, explained the 17 households and 15 villages were within the farm’s enclave and expressed the hope the facility would motivate school children in the area to stay in school.
Nana Baffo Agyei, the Chief of Nyinase, expressed appreciation for the facility and appealed to the Municipal Assembly to construct a classroom block for the Nyinase local Primary and Junior High School.
He said because of inadequate classrooms, the Primary and JHS students study in the same classrooms on shift system, impeding effective teaching and learning.