Ghana launches internet laboratories for schools

Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, Minister of Education on Tuesday pledged the commitment of the Ministry to provide relevant education to all Ghanaians at all levels.

He said this would enable them to acquire skills to develop their potentials to be productive to facilitate poverty reduction and promote socio-economic growth and national development.

“Our aim is to stimulate the production and application of new ideas that would form the basis of economic development,” he added.

Mr Tettey-Enyo made the pledge when addressing the opening session of the National Instrumental Internet Laboratories Training programme at Ghana Telecom University College (NI-iLabs@GTUC) in Accra.

The programme promotes a shift from theoretical learning to practical yet cost effective and reliable sharing of laboratories and laboratory equipment.

The internet laboratories would provide a new way of implementing traditional laboratories, by allowing laboratory equipment to be used by students from a distance through the internet, and gives students the opportunity to perform experiments on actual laboratory equipment in real time over the internet.

He pointed out that the arrangement would provide opportunities for students in developing nations to share the use of facilities and experiences that otherwise were available for the exclusive use by students and staff of advanced economies.

“The advent of remote technologies has succeeded in creating a level playing ground for competitors in the global village, and providing similar opportunities for countries ready to take advantage of the available opportunities,’ he added.

Mr Tettey-Enyo said this would provide institutions and education managers adequate resources for all students in their studies and research activities.

The Sector Minister noted that accessing laboratory facilities through the internet represented another step forward in applying new technologies in the universities and moving onto a higher wave of pedagogy and learning.

He commended authorities of GTUC for bringing such an innovative way to enhance education at all levels of the educational system and called on participating universities to take advantage and explore the opportunity.

Mr Tettey-Enyo reiterated the Ministry’s support for the programme to improve the quantity and quality of research and development in the country.

Dr Osei Darkwa, President of GTUC said introduction of NI-iLabs would provide students the ability to access and share physical laboratories with several institutions across the world.

He said NI-iLabs could be accessed 24 hours per day, seven days a week, from any internet connected location without requiring staff supervision, adding “it is highly immune to wear and tear, theft, vandalism and could serve millions of students in their own time”.

Dr Darkwa pointed out that courses that traditionally had to be undertaken on campus might now offer distance learning, and workers who study part-time might find iLabs useful in their commitments.

He called on authorities of tertiary institutions to incorporate such programmes to enrich science and engineering education in their institutions and the country.

Source: GNA

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