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Regional News of Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Source: saac Akwetey23 May 2011

One Laptop Per Child Takes Off in Suhum Kraboa Coaltar District

Okunor — In its quest to impart the knowledge of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to school children at a tender age, the previous government initiated what was termed 'One Laptop Per Child Policy (OLPC).'

The initiative is to stimulate local grassroots initiatives designed to enhance and sustain over time the effectiveness of laptops as learning tools for children living in lesser-developed countries.

Since its introduction, the desire and anxiety of school children in the Eastern Region, particularly, those in the rural areas, to have a feel of computers have been in the balance.

However, all is not lost, and the ambiguity surrounding the initiative has finally come to rest, following the presentation of 75 mini laptops from One Laptop Per Child, an America Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), through the Child's Rights Organisation, to the Suhum Kraboa Coaltar District Assembly (SKCDA).

In addition to the computers presented were 42 chairs and 35 tables to enable the children have full use of the donation.

The donation by the NGO has empowered the Assembly to construct an ultra modern ICT centre at the Korase District Assembly Experimental School, the main benefactor of the items, to house the donation.

The facility, which makes the district the first among the 21 in the region to enjoy the policy, was constructed by Harry Yoak Enterprise, at a cost of GH ¢30,478, and funded through the District Development Fund (DDF), contains a big hall, store and supervisor's office.

Making known some initial challenges to the District Chief Executive (DCE), Samuel Fleischer Kwabi, the Headmaster of the school, Mr. Isaac Martey, said at the time of receiving the items, the management of the school was financially handicapped, and unable to construct the centre, let alone cater for the installation.

Thus, the school and the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) wrote to the Assembly for assistance, which was responded to with swift action, through the award of the contract and other materials to see to the construction of the facility.

According to him, even though the computers lacked some basic features making the teaching and learning of the facility difficult, it would go a long way to improving the ICT knowledge of the children.

Due to ICT being made an examinable subject during the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), Mr. Martey called on the DCE to make available some better computers to ensure effectiveness and efficiency.

He also implored the DCE to help the school employ a permanent laboratory technician to man the facility to enable the children access the facility at any time.

Responding to the request of the school, Mr. Kwabi assured the management of the school of making the centre a top class ICT centre for the benefit of the school children in the area.

He took opportunity of the occasion to urge the children in the school and its environs to make good use of the facility.

In a related development, the DCE has expressed grave concern over the construction of an ICT centre to serve the entire district which had come to a standstill, but which he claimed had been re-awarded, as the previous contractor had abandoned the project.