Access to quality education in Ghana has been a critical focus area for the government of Ghana, private sector and many civil society organizations. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has been recognized as a means to increase access to education to a larger section of the populace and improve literacy by facilitating educational delivery and training at all levels.
In November 2008, the Ministry of Education introduced the ICT in Education Policy to increase access and help transform the educational system. In 2011, the Basic School Computerization policy was also created to introduce computers and e-learning to the educational system. Unfortunately, many schools, especially those outside urban centers, lack access to the infrastructure and resources needed in the teaching and learning of ICT.
The DreamOval Foundation has over the past 10 years run programs to augment support in teaching and learning of ICT. Through programs such as iTeach, over 300 teachers from deprived communities were provided with basic ICT skills.
The program has hosted teachers from the Northern regions, Greater Accra, Ashanti and Eastern regions who had little or no knowledge on ICT and provided them with knowledge and skills to enhance teaching and learning in their various schools. Many participants of the program have requested for more sessions to increase their wealth of knowledge in ICT.
Amidst efforts to increase access to computer programming across the globe, interest in coding especially among the youth has been increasing. Opportunities for youth in Ghana to access computer programming is essential particularly in driving efforts to improve access to education, increase interest in entrepreneurship and reduce unemployment.
In this wake, the DreamOval Foundation has participated in the implementation of programs to support efforts in improving interest and knowledge in computer programming among teachers and students. Africa Code Week and AfriCAN Code Challenge are initiatives by SAP and implemented by DreamOval Foundation in Ghana for teachers and students in Ghana.
This year, the Africa Code Week Train the Trainer was organized from the 5th of September to 13th of September 2022. Over 300 teachers were provided training in coding using the SCRATCH program. The Train the Trainer program is run to equip teachers with coding skills to enable them to understand coding and effectively teach their students. It is expected that with the skills acquired, over 20,000 students would be taught the coding skills by the teachers.
Participants of the Africa Code Week were also encouraged to encourage their students to participate in the AfriCAN Code Challenge in October.
The AfriCAN Code Challenge is an initiative for young people between the ages of 8-16, who are enthused about coding and technology. The Challenge is an initiative by SAP and UNESCO that encourages students to identify and solve problems in their communities using SCRATCH, a programming language used to create games.
Winners from Ghana will have the opportunity to represent Ghana in the pan-African event. Entries are currently being submitted by young people across Ghana for the Challenge. The deadline for submission of entries is 7th October 2022.
The DreamOval Foundation believes that enhancing human capital relies heavily on providing quality education and the Foundation is supporting this effort through science, technology, engineering and mathematics. DreamOval Foundation continues to explore avenues to create more opportunities for teachers and students especially in underprivileged communities.