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General News of Monday, 14 January 2013

Source: Graphic Online

Electronic boards to be introduced in public schools

A pilot programme to introduce electronic boards in public schools is set to take off in the country this year.

The initiative will begin with basic schools and later be extended to second-cycle institutions.

The instructional technology which wil involve the use of laptops and projectors will be piloted in schools with good infrastructure and electricity.

In addition, the installation of electronic boards will be factored into the design and construction of new classroom blocks this year.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Education, Major Mahama Tara (retd), told the Daily Graphic that basic schools in the country would be the first to benefit from the use of the electronic boards.

“Our main concern for now will be basic schools, after which the project will be extended to senior high schools (SHSs),” he said.

There are more than 17,000 classrooms in basic schools across the country and Major Tara said the initiative could not be carried out at once but in phases.

The electronic board, he posited, was different from the white board and indicated that the programme was part of efforts to improve the delivery of education in schools to produce the requisite human resource for the development of the country.

The blackboard had remained the prime teaching tool for teachers, along with books, until recently when the use of chalk and blackboards began giving way to the use of white boards and markers in mostly private schools.

The evolution from the blackboard to the white board is, however, still on.

In the public sector, second-cycle institutions have started embracing the use of white and electronic boards. In spite of this, the blackboard remains the standard in many schools.

The chief director said teachers would be taught how to use the facilities when they were installed to ensure their effective and efficient use for the benefit of both pupils and teachers.

Asked whether the introduction of the electronic boards would not put producers of chalk out of business, Major Tara said, “No! The intention is not to put anyone out of business.”

He said the Ghana Education Service (GES) had worked and continued to work with manufacturers of chalk, adding, “That is why we are doing it gradually.”

Apart from improving the quality of teaching and learning, he said, the use of the electronic boards was to ensure that schools adopted the technology which had gained ground across the world.

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