Home » NDC Candidate Criticizes Ghana’s Smart School Project as Impractical

NDC Candidate Criticizes Ghana’s Smart School Project as Impractical

James Kofi Annan Labels E-Learning Initiative a Resource Drain

by Adenike Adeodun

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Candidate for Effutu Constituency, James Kofi Annan, has raised concerns over the Ghana Smart School Project, a government initiative launched by President Akufo-Addo aimed at advancing e-learning and digitalization within the educational sector. The project, which involves the distribution of 1.3 million educational tablets to senior high school students nationwide, has been critiqued by Mr. Annan as being an imprudent use of resources.

During an interview on Accra-based Citi-FM, Mr Annan argued that the funds dedicated to procuring tablets could have been more effectively allocated towards the establishment and refurbishment of ICT laboratories across senior high schools. He expressed skepticism about the sustainability and effectiveness of the smart school project, labeling it as a “populous project” doomed for failure.

Highlighting the current state of ICT infrastructure in schools, Mr Annan pointed out that many secondary schools are either completely devoid of computer labs or possess non-functional ones. This situation, he argued, underscores a critical need for investment in physical ICT infrastructure rather than distributing tablets, which may not address the core challenges of integrating ICT into the education system.

“If you mean well to improve upon learning outcomes through ICT, what you have to do is use those computers that you have acquired to resource the existing broken down computer labs and set up new ones where they don’t have computer labs so that every student can benefit,” Mr Annan elaborated. His comments reflect a broader debate on the most effective ways to integrate technology into education, especially in regions where basic ICT infrastructure is lacking.

The Ghana Smart School Project represents a significant step by the government towards embracing digitalization in education, aiming to equip students with the technological tools needed to thrive in a digital world. However, Mr. Annan’s critique highlights a crucial conversation about prioritizing investments in education technology, particularly the balance between innovative digital tools and foundational ICT infrastructure.

This debate touches on essential questions about resource allocation, sustainability, and inclusivity in deploying educational technology solutions. As the project unfolds, it will be vital to monitor its impact on learning outcomes and assess whether alternative investments in ICT infrastructure could complement or enhance the benefits of such digital initiatives.

The discourse surrounding the Ghana Smart School Project underscores the complexities of integrating technology into education systems, especially in contexts where access to basic ICT resources remains a challenge. It calls for a nuanced approach that considers not only the potential of digital tools to transform learning but also the foundational needs of educational institutions to effectively leverage these technologies for the benefit of all students.

Source: Graphic Online

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