The truth behind the blackboard computer teacher

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A follow up on the story of the Ghanian teacher who has to draw Microsoft Word on his blackboard to teach the program.

He’s Richard Appiah Akoto a 33 year old teacher at Betenase M/A Junior High School in the town of Sekyedomase in central Ghana.  A place so obscure, by modern standards, that it isn’t named in Google Maps (though a search for “Sekyedumase, Ghana” gives a rough location).  Mr Akoto posts as Owura Kwadwo Hottish.

The Ghanaian curriculum includes an ICT (Information and Communication technology) component which 14/15 year kids have to pass before progressing to high school.  That’s a problem when the school doesn’t have any computer.

Mr Akoto has a laptop but it’s not suitable for teaching because it uses different software to the ICT course and the course includes hardware questions that don’t apply to a laptop (connecting monitor etc).  Ghanaian ICT curriculum for Junior High Schools was written in 2007, before fully integrated laptops became the norm for us in more prosperous nations.

Microsoft has come to the party with an offer to “equip [Akoto] with a device from one of our partners, and access to our MCE program & free professional development resources on.”.

That’s nice but not a big help because the device will presumably have the latest Microsoft Office while it’s Word 2003 (pre-ribbon) being taught in the class.  And there’d be issues of Internet access and a reliable power supply.

Few of Mr Akoto’s students do well in the final exam (which is supposed to be “based on more practical work than theory.”) which is hardly a surprise given their situation.

Quartz Africa has the full story.

Office 365 prices in Ghana

Microsoft Ghana sells Office 365 in US dollars. Office 365 Home for $109.99 and Personal for $79.99 a year.

That’s a lot of money in a country where the minimum wage is barely US$2 a day or 8.80 Ghanian Cedi.

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