Government committed to providing digital literacy to trainee teachers – Dr Prince Armah

Deputy Chairman of Parliament’s Education Committee, Dr Prince Hamid Armah reiterated the government’s commitment to provide digital literacy training to trainee teachers.

Speaking as a special guest of honor at the investiture of Dr Adwoa Kwegyiriba as the new Principal of St. Francis College of Education in Ho on Saturday February 26, 2022.

Addressing the gathering, the former Chief Executive of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) spoke of the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education in the 21st century. century.

The MP for Kwesimintsim explained how failure to train teachers in ICT would impact effective teaching and learning.

“Given the value of teachers for national development, policy makers must remain constantly committed to the healthy training and development of teachers, especially in the area of ​​digitalization. We are in the digital dispensation, where many children are now referred to as digital natives due to their affinity and heavy reliance on information and communication technology (ICT) tools.

“Other studies further suggest that digital immigrants, i.e. adults who have had to adapt to ICT, struggle to create content that can engage and hold the attention of digital natives of significantly. This is perhaps one of the biggest challenges in education in the 21st century,” he said.

In Ghana, research suggests that less than 15% of teachers use ICT to improve teaching and learning. This statistic indicates that many students in Ghana, especially in basic schools, have little access to ICT education and tools.

The One Laptop Per Child policy implemented has improved access in many ways, but the ICT gap remains huge.

However, Dr Armah assured the gathering that the government has recognized the need for digitalization in education and devised effective solutions to address it accordingly.

He cited the TM1 laptop distribution program as an example of the government’s commitment to providing ICT tools to trainee teachers to equip them with ICT skills.

The MP for Kwesimintsim, a key member of the team behind recent teacher education reforms in the country, also explained how the government has formulated a policy to integrate ICT into the teacher education curriculum.

He pointed out that colleges have now been provided with supportive policies to support ICT education.

“The government’s distribution of laptops to teachers is based on the assumption that teachers can competently use the devices to enhance teaching and learning.”

He added that “the National Teacher Education Curriculum Framework (NTECF), the National Teacher Standards and the Bachelor of Education Curriculum for Colleges of Education – which I had the privilege of actively participating in their development – strongly underline the need for the pedagogical integration of technology in teacher training.

“The NTECF framework recognizes ICT as “the key to effective communication, teaching and learning in the 21st century.’ Colleges are therefore well equipped, politically, to use this framework to produce teachers who can effectively manage the digital demands of teaching in the 21st century.”

The infusion of ICT in education delivery is a challenge beyond Ghana; the African continent has generally struggled to successfully integrate ICTs due to a lack of supporting infrastructure at grassroots levels.

The 2015 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) outlook on ICT readiness in sub-Saharan Africa was promising but slow.

However, a key recommendation to improve the situation was the gradual formulation of educational policies and the provision of ICT tools to teachers and students. In this regard, it seems that Ghana is leading the way.

About Shirley L. Kreger

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