Hands on computer classes for struggling students

Ghana Library Authority with Ashanti, Western, Upper East and Volta Regional libraries

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Teacher George Ebo Brown gives children at Archbishop Amissah Junior High School in Western Region their first hands-on computer lesson. Photo by Ryan Yingling.

community need

Information and communication technology (ICT) is a formal, examinable school subject in Ghana. But most rural schools do not have computers or internet connections, and so children must learn in the abstract. As a result, failure rates are high.

The innovative service

With a grant from the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme in 2012, Volta Regional Library equipped their mobile library with ICT and began a programme of hands-on computer classes for children attending poorly-resourced schools in Volta Region. Equipment included laptop computers, modem internet and solar panels to charge the laptops. To accommodate large classes, the mobile libraries also carried canopies, desks and chairs so that librarians could conduct outdoor classes. 

In 2014, thanks to the support of the technology company, Nokia, and individual donors who supported us through the online fundraising platform GlobalGiving-UK, EIFL was able to extend the project to three more regions of Ghana: Ashanti, Upper East and Western Regions. The expanded project travels to 25 schools, bringing solar-charged laptops pre-loaded with educational content related to the school curriculum, and teaching aids such as projectors and screens.

eifl-plip project timeline

May 2012 - ongoing

Impact and achievements

The project has proved to be a cost-effective model for providing access to technology and improving education in rural schools.

In just one year (2015/16) -

  • The project taught practical computer and internet skills to over 3,800 junior high school children in grades 1, 2 and 3 at 25 schools.
     
  • Out of 1,146 children in Grade 3 who participated in ICT classes in 2016, 1,070 took the ICT exam, and 700 of them passed.
     
  • The project contributed to a remarkable improvement in the ICT exam pass rate. In 2015 the average ICT exam pass rate in participating schools was 45%. In 2016 the ICT exam pass rate was 65% - an increase of 20%.
     
  • The project improved ICT teaching in 25 rural schools, building teachers’ skills and enhancing classroom practice.
     
  • The project won the respect of parents and recognition for the libraries.

“Every week, parents move their children from other schools which are not benefitting from the project to my school. They want their children to have this opportunity to learn about technology and pass their exams,” said Mr Francis Pepra Boansi, headmaster of Kwaaso Presbyterian Junior High School.

Follow the project's progress

Watch EIFL's video about the Hands on computer classes for 1,800 Ghana children project:

On Vimeo.

On You Tube.

donate to help the REGIONAL LIBRARIES buy more computers

Click the button below to donate to the project through the online fundraising platform, GlobalGiving.

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Read a two-page case study about Volta Regional Library's successful pilot project.

More libraries supporting education

Read about more innovative public library services that contribute to education of children and adults. PLIP-EDUCATION

 
I can now use the computer to type, store and retrieve information easily. I can now browse the internet, create new email addresses and use Facebook to make friends across the world.  
Joseph Adingo, secondary school student, Ashanti Region.