School laptops for sale – GNEC

PupilsThe Greater Accra branch of the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) has established that rlg laptops strictly meant for schools are being offered for sale in the open market.

The rlg laptops intended for schools are installed with ubuntu windows and it costs GH₵750.00, while comparable computers are sold in Accra between GH₵400.00 and GH₵500.00, GNECC said.

The GNECC made this known during a validation meeting on a research it carried out on the “status of Information and communication Technology (ICT) in public junior high schools in the Greater Accra region” on Friday.

The Ministry of Education apparently procured the computers for schools through a sole source procurement method and that raises the question as to whether or not the government was getting value for money, GNECC added.

But there is evidence of lack of computers and ICT labs in most public junior high schools seven years after the policy was adopted and 10 years after it was conceived.

The research which was conducted from June to October, 2013, showed that 36 out of 400 public junior high schools in Greater Accra had received laptops under the school computerisation programme.

“The average number of 24 laptops per school is hardly enough, given the large class sizes with up to five pupils sharing a laptop,” the report said.

The Coalition said most of the teachers and heads had little or no computer skills and that was a serious challenge to promoting ICT in education in the country.

The ICT policy states that the deadline for the full implementation of the programme is 2015 but GNECC said it doubted government’s ability to achieve the target with just a little over a year left.

The research discovered “a serious mismatch between the syllabus, textbooks and the software installed on the laptops.”

“Most pupils are very keen on mastering ICT, however, there are serious issues that need to be addressed before we can say that we have really landed,” GNECC pointed out.

Source: GNA

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