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Ghana Smart Schools Project good but, preloading of textbooks on machine a sham- Prof. G. K. T. Oduro

An Educational Leadership Scholar and a former Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Prof. George K. T. Oduro has noted that, government’s Ghana Smart Schools Project appears good on the surface but, is fraught with avoidable challenges.

One of the main challenges; according to Prof. Oduro ,is the claim that the tablets have been preloaded with text books .How possible when we all know the SHS curriculum is yet to be finalised. Are Contents of textbooks not informed by curriculum?, Prof Oduro quizzed

In a telephone conversation with Yoel Prah on Saturday, 30th March, 2024 on GBC Radio Central Show dubbed “Centre Stage”, the Educational Leadership Scholar avered that “on the surface, the project is good because, all other things being equal, the tablets are going to support student learning.

According to him, in pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals, any initiative that seeks to advance the course of quality education “ought to be lauded”,if properly planned. The laptop being designed with preloaded textbooks when the curriculum is not ready is “where I find a challenge with the initiative” positing that “currently, curriculum for Senior High Schools has not been finalised. Where there is no finality on the curriculum, preloading text books raises questions regarding the hidden intent of the project’, emphasized the professor.

Again, he hinted that, owing to the many challenges bedevilling some schools across the country, it makes the implementation of the initiative problematic. “There are about 5000 schools still operating under trees according to EduWatch, feeding challenges at the senior high level remain challenging and you prioritize laptops? ; ‘Where should our priority be? It is a good policy but in terms of priority, is it?”, quizzed the Educational Leadership Scholar.

He further questioned the rationale for government spending so much money on procuring exams papers for students when it knew it was going to launch a tablet which would contain all the text books and others, “This raises a question of value for money “.

Regarding the timing of the initiative, Prof. Oduro avered that with reference to the challenges enumerated and considering the fact that we are in an election year “is it not a means of influencing votes? Just to get students to vote for you? It raises an issue there”, he shared his thoughts on the timing of the project.

In sum, the former Pro VC of UCC admitted that, it is a good initiative because attempts have been made in the past to provide laptops for teachers which all culminates to changing narrative about educational teaching and learning materials. “But, considering current challenges facing schools in our country which threatens students’ learning enviroment, a big question mark comes up”, he noted.

DC Kwame Kwakye

Fatherhood Advocate, Consultant, Broadcast Journalist, Writer and Counsellor.

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