The Ghanaian education system today is in a bad state with massive failures in primary education, the length of secondary school cycles in constant flux, and the major universities altering admissions procedures and course materials.
However, the overlying conclusion that can be drawn from all this is that the Ghanaian Education system today is woefully inadequate and in need of immediate reform. Technology, on the other hand, is rapidly gaining acceptance in the country and is proving its benefits to players in the public and private sector. Here we examine three ways technology can transform education in Ghana.
Teaching Methods.Over the world, the rise of the Internet and the dawn of the technological age has led to advances and radical changes in the way things are done. Education has not been left out here. Technology has transformed teaching methods to make it much easier for students to grasp concepts quickly. This is especially true in science education where videos can be used to help students visualize forces in physics, organic structures in biology and molecular structures in Chemistry. Universities in this country can make use of these technologies to improve science education. Cost may not even be much of a factor, as there are several free resources available. As Mashable reports: ‘The Concord Consortium, a non-profit organization that develops technologies for math, science and engineering education, has been a leader in developing free, open source software that teachers can use to model concepts.’
Globalisation is an oft-talked about concept that encompasses the coming together of the various peoples of the world through technologies such as the internet and advances in aviation and collaboration. In Ghana, the effects of globalization are very much in evidence, with many foreign nationals living and working here. Ghanaians today do not find it strange to encounter or work in foreign-owned businesses or to hear of project collaboration between the Ghanaian and a foreign government. It is thus necessary for the understanding and appreciation of foreign cultures to be a part of our educational system. Many schools around the country now attach the term ‘International’ to their names, yet few of these can be said to be truly international in respect to having a diverse foreign student population. The technology of today such as video-conferencing facilities and social media can allow students in classrooms in Ghana to interact with other students from around the world and understand their culture. Today, free Internet technologies can provide the benefits of student exchanges without the cost of actual travel.
Real Work Conditions. One of the laments of tertiary education students and businesses around Ghana today is that the courses taught them do not adequately prepare them for working life. In the area of technology use this is especially true. Many students first take basic computing courses when they arrive in University and current systems are structured that students barely need to spend much time in front of a computer to graduate well. Accounting students around the country are often able to graduate from accounting courses without gaining proficiency in any accounting software. Technology should be integrated in our teaching systems, allowing our students to familiarize themselves with the fast paced and highly demanding tech world at an early age and for a long period before entering the job market. These measures would help our youth to be better prepared to enter workplaces where e-mails are the main means of communication, videoconferences are frequently held, documents are kept ‘in the cloud’ and the computer use is constant.
Most often Ghanaians share the view that technology is ‘expensive’. However, the few proposals discussed here are an example of some of the technology-driven improvements that can be made to our education system at little to no cost. Today, this nation takes a serious look at how we can transform our education systems to dispense with high rates of failure and inability of graduates to perform on the workplace. As shown here, technology can and should be a part of any such overhaul to ensure the youth of Ghana are given the best possible chance of success in a fast-changing world.
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