Stakeholders in the education sector in Ghana have highlighted the need to embrace technology (Ed-Tech) to bridge the learning gap created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
All schools in Ghana and other parts of the world were closed at the height of the pandemic in the first quarter of 2020.
Although schools have been opened and learners have been allowed back into the classroom almost a year later, many teachers are still struggling to catch up.
Speaking on the EdTech Monday Show with Bernard Avle on Citi FM, three stakeholders shared their thoughts on the topic: Harnessing the power of technology to create resilient education systems.
The program is a collaboration between the Mastercard Foundation and the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) Africa.
The panel included Dr. Josephine Marie Godwyll, Founding Director of Young at Heart Ghana; Richmond Agyemang Jnr, teacher at Nkawie Upper Secondary Technical School; and Amtu Akumfi-Ameyaw, Women’s Commissioner of the University Students’ Association of Ghana (USAG).
Dr Josephine Marie Godwyll said the education system had suffered a massive shock due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
She explained that there was a disruption in learning times at various schools; in this school, the closures have reduced the time devoted to learning.
In his view, deploying the innovative engagement prowess of technology will help make up for lost learning time without making education boring for young students.
“We lost about two terms because of the closures. The Ghana Education Service (GES) has tried to compensate for this by increasing hours, especially in basic schools. And that’s where EdTech comes in, because you’re looking at young people who have very short attention spans and there’s a limit on how long you can keep them in class,” he said. she declared.
“So the innovative engagement prowess of technology definitely comes into play; ways to engage young people to stimulate their creativity and enable them to learn during the overtime that we are trying to recover and also to ensure that they do not become bored or treat education as a burden .
For his part, Richmond Agyemang Jnr. said several teachers have had to switch from traditional teaching methods to embracing the use of technology to teach their students.
Citing himself as an example, the Nkawie Secondary Technical School teacher said he usually uses his laptop to project videos in a bid to get his students on the same page.
“When I had the chance to go back to class I introduced flipped classroom where I ask students to go home and finish reading and when they come back to school we then solve problems in class “, he noted.
Meanwhile, Amtu Akumfi-Ameyaw also discussed how education has changed at the tertiary level since the COVID pandemic.
According to her, although there are already systems in place for online learning, the pandemic has forced teachers to adopt and increase the use of technology.
“We already had the systems in place for online learning, but it wasn’t that effective because we’re so used to a lot of physical interaction,” said the University Students’ Association women’s commissioner. from Ghana.
EdTech Monday is an initiative of the Regional Center for Innovative ICT Teaching and Learning of the Mastercard Foundation and is part of the Foundation’s strategy to find solutions for youth employment in Africa by bridging the gap in access to quality education and by advancing the integration of technology into education policies. and practices across Africa.
To bring this vision to life in Ghana, The Mastercard Foundation has partnered with MEST Africa, a pan-African tech institution, to present the EdTech Monday show on the last Monday of every month.