Update: Remember Ghana’s teacher that Drew Microsoft word on a blackboard? He now has a new classroom to himself, Tekedia reports:
Earlier this month, the world stood to applaud Richard Appiah Akoto, the Ghanaian teacher who drew Microsoft Word on a chalkboard for his students. This is truly an interesting feat. But what is the story behind it?
The Story Behind the Drawing
Akoto is the information and Communication Technology (ICT) teacher at Betanase M/A Junior High School in Sekyedomase, Ghana. The school is low on infrastructure and has no computers. Yet, the school students need computer knowledge to pass the compulsory national examination.
“I always wanted them to have interest in the subject, so I always do my possible best for them,” Akoto said.
ICT class in Ghana.
No computer, no problem.
(ht Owura Kwadwo Hottish) pic.twitter.com/PEc6mq78So
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) February 26, 2018
So in the absence of computers, Akoto decided to draw Microsoft Word on the chalkboard. He didn’t care how long it would take him. “I wanted them to know or see how the window will appear if they were to be behind a computer,” he told CNN.
Although he owns a personal laptop, he says the country’s syllabus for ICT is based on the desktop computer. Unfortunately, he had to teach them the real process of booting and running a desktop with a chalkboard.
If I bring a charged laptop to class and just press the power button, then all of a sudden, everything will be on, this does not suit the syllabus.
Akoto posted the images of him drawing the Microsoft Word diagram on social media. The images were not only shared by a fellow teacher, but also a popular comedian with about 140,000 Facebook followers. Within a short period, it went viral! Users on social media loved and marvelled at it. It was inspiring, but at the same time, painful to see the educational challenges in Africa.
It was also picked by tech websites and blogs. But most importantly, the images got shared by a tech entrepreneur, Rebecca Enonchong. She tweeted to Microsoft to help provide resources for the school.
Hey @MicrosoftAfrica, he’s teaching MS Word on a blackboard. Surely you can get him some proper resources. https://t.co/u8N3eXguXS
— Rebecca Enonchong (@africatechie) February 25, 2018
Microsoft responded, promising the school a computer and access to educational materials.
Supporting teachers to enable digital transformation in education is at the core of what we do. We will equip Owura Kwadwo with a device from one of our partners, and access to our MCE program & free professional development resources on https://t.co/dJ6loRUOdg
— Microsoft Africa (@MicrosoftAfrica) February 27, 2018
Reward for Diligence
The benefits of Mr Akoto’s work has been glaring. On March 8, students at his school got their first laptop through a Saudi benefactor at the University of Leeds.
A few days later, NIIT Ghana, a tech training institute donated five desktop computers along with books to the school. The ICT teacher also received a laptop from the institute.
Microsoft also fulfilled their promise to the school by flying Akoto to Singapore last week to participate in the annual Microsoft Education Exchange. He even posted images from the Exchange Program on Facebook.
Though Akoto has been deservedly praised for his diligence and being an inspiration to many, the education dearth in Africa still exists. Government-owned schools still lack resources and continue to provide sub-standard education. This is quite unfortunate.
However, we, at Technext, are proud of Akoto!
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