Microsoft rewards ICT teacher’s innovative impartation
The passionate efforts of a teacher, who improvised with chalk-drawn sketches to bring to life his Information and Communication Technology lessons, has paid off with Microsoft, extending a helping hand to make sure that his Betenase Municipal Assembly Junior High School students graduate with a success story.
Mr Richard Appiah Akoto gained popularity when the media learned about his unique methods to impart in the face of deprivation of the requisite resources for teaching his beloved students.
But everything is turning out for the good of both teacher and students as Microsoft, in collaboration with eSolutions consulting, a local education partner, have donated technological resources to equip a computer laboratory at the school located in Sekyedumase in Ashanti Region.
The items include 27 laptops, a projector, a scanner, furniture, screen, UPS back up and routers, device security storage unit and a year of free 3G connectivity.
Mr Akoto, 33, became a social media sensation after he posted pictures of himself painstakingly sketching out a mock-up of a Microsoft Word screen in coloured chalk on his classroom blackboard, so his students could learn digital skills even without devices.
Mr Warren La Fleur, the Education lead for West, East and Central Africa at Microsoft, said the company believed that enablement must start at the grassroots level by way of education.
He said it was the teachers and the sort of work they did through their lessons that allowed for this to happen effectively.
“We are extremely impressed by the work educators all over the continent are doing; as economies like Ghana become increasingly digital, technical thinking and understanding technology become supremely important,” he added.
He said teachers, not only in Betenase Junior High School, but across Ghana, would gain access to the Microsoft Certified Educator Programme for professional development.
This was to nurture their passion for teaching and build rich, custom learning experience for students.
“Training, such as this, is vital in ensuring that educators have the global educator technology literacy competencies needed to provide greater learning experience for the students.
Mr Akuoko Asante, Account Technology Strategist, Microsoft Ghana Limited, said Microsoft identified opportunities in areas of their operations and assisted with technological support to facilitate students’ access and use to devices.
He expressed the hope that students would use the resources provided them to impact on their learning and do well in the ICT course.
Mrs Martha Owusu Agyemeng, the Education Director of the Ejura Sekyedumase Municipal, commended management of Microsoft for their kind gesture in supporting the school.
Mr Akoto told the GNA that he wanted to support the school because the students had great potential.
He was, therefore, excited that Microsoft’s support would enable them to have the practical experience of how the computer worked to complement the theory he had been teaching.
“They have some knowledge about computers, but they don’t know how to actually operate one,” he added.
He said his devotion was to ensure that the students did not miss out on having the vital digital skills, which were important to function effectively in today’s world.
Already, Microsoft, impressed with Richard’s kindled spirit, flew him halfway around the world to Singapore to participate in the Education Exchange (E2).
He received a long standing ovation when he appeared on stage at the E2, a gathering of almost 400 educators and school leaders from 91 countries looking at how technology and new ways of teaching could prepare students for success in the digital age.