When you think of must-have equipment for an information and communication technology (ICT) class, computers are at the very top of the list. But, this week, pictures of a Ghanaian teacher using much more creative methods have gone viral.
Meet Richard Appiah Akoto. Akoto, 33, is an ICT teacher at Betenase M/A Junior High School in Sekyedomase, a town in the Ashanti Region of Ghana and a two hours’ drive from Ghana’s second city, Kumasi. Instead of desktops and tablets, Akoto uses blackboards and chalk.
He teaches his students how to use computers by drawing meticulously detailed pictures. This one of a word processing window took the Internet by storm after he posted it on Facebook two weeks ago. Like many teachers, Akoto goes by a different name on the social media platform.
“Teaching of ICT in Ghana's school is very funny. ICT on the board paa. I love ma students so have to do wat will make them understand Wat am teaching,” he wrote in his post.
Back in 2011, the Ghanaian government introduced a set of national exams, which include a test in ICT. Teenagers are expected to sit the exam aged 14 and 15 to progress to high school. Yet, the school Akoto teaches at still doesn’t have access to computers.
So Rebecca Enonchong, tech CEO and entrepreneur, tweeted Microsoft, calling on them to equip Betenase Junior High with some badly needed supplies.
Microsoft replied, promising to send Akoto a device from one of their partners. They also offered access their MCE program and free professional development resources.
What does Akoto think of all the attention?
“This is not my first time [of drawing] it. I have been doing it anytime I am in the classroom,” Akoto told Gizmodo Africa. “I like posting pictures on Facebook so I just felt like [sharing it]. I didn’t know it would get the attention of people like that.”
kudos to Akoto for thinking outside the box and being an all-around superstar teacher, but this story highlights a serious problem facing Ghana's public school system.
According to Gizmodo, there have been calls to address the huge disparities between private and public schools in the country and calls for a more equal distribution of educational resources.