US NGOs build Yamoransa model ICT lab …for Betenase

Friends of Yamoransa (FoY) and Helping Africa Foundation (HAF), both non-profit organisations in the USA, has provided a model 48-seater computer laboratory for the people of Betenase in the Ejura/Sekyedumase Municipality of the Ashanti Region.

The lab christened: “Yamoransa Model Lab-3 Project,” which is set-up to enhance the teaching and learning of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), English, Mathematics and Science, also has a four-seater community business centre.

Over 8,000 school children in Sekyedumase and six other schools in surrounding communities will use the facilities.

The communities are Sekyedumase, Apaaso, Ayinaso, Drobon, Frante and Juaho.

It was built in response to a social media post shared by a teacher of the Betenase M.A. School, Mr Richard Akoto Appiah, who was exhibiting his teaching efforts in ICT.

Mr Appiah’s social media post, which attracted global attention, showed a detailed drawing of Microsoft Word on a blackboard, which he was using to teach his pupils.

The scenario exhibited by him indicated his passion for teaching and immense creativity to provide vital knowledge to his pupils, even with the simple means available to him at the time.

The President of Friends of Yamoransa, Dr Deborah Rose, and the Founder of Helping Africa Foundation, Daniel Rose, in response and for their love for computer literacy programmes initiated and coordinated the funding for the project to enhance the teaching and learning of ICT.

Dr Rose in her address said the effort of setting-up these model labs began with a mandate by the Ministry of Education (MoE), Ghana, to educate children in the emerging fields of ICT, even when the technology itself was not yet widely distributed.

She revealed that in April this year, a young member of their team alerted her to a viral posting by Mr Appiah, a teacher in Betenase, who was using a detailed drawing of Microsoft on blackboard to teach computing.

This she said, coupled with her love for computer literacy, touched her heart which motivated her to set up a Model Lab for the people of Betenase.

“In the United States, our educational philosophy embraces what we call general liberal arts education, encompassing the humanities, the social and natural sciences, rather than strictly technical or pre-professional training. This, we believe, is the best preparation to become citizens of the world.”

Executive Director of Helping Africa Foundation, Mr Japhet Aryiku,said the computer lab would help residents in the area to become proficient in computing.

According to him, the lab would not only benefit pupils, students in computing studies, but other subjects, especially English, Science, and Mathematics.

Mr Ayiku said the Betanase Lab was the third in series in three regions namely Yamoransa, Mallam and Betenase in the Central, Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions and intends to touch many more communities across the country, adding that, “we are interested in spreading “Rural Computing” throughout Ghana.

The executive director revealed that many people across the globe had never heard of Betenase, but through Mr Appiah’s social media post on the internet it has created opportunities for the entire community socially and economically.

For his part, the Ejura/Sekyedumase Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Mohammed Salisu Bamba, thanked the Friends of Yamoransa and Helping Africa Foundation for the kind gesture, and TECHAiDE for installing their unique low voltage and robust computing technology, as it will go a long way to benefit the entire municipality and promised to ensure that the facility is used for its intended purpose and properly maintained.

The project is being managed by IMPLEMENTERS, a project management non-profit firm, with its technology partners; TECHAiDE, who have over 10 years experience in technology projects globally.



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