Educationist and Deputy director of the Institute for Education Studies, Patrick Danquah, has stated that the ‘1 student, 1 tablet’ initiative, which is to have online versions of textbooks and past questions for Senior High School students, is a duplication of the already-given hardcopy textbooks and past questions.
The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, at the opening ceremony of the 74th Annual New Year School and Conference at the University of Ghana, Legon, on Tuesday, January 17 stated that government would provide senior high school students with electronic tablets to aid in their studies.
Dr. Bawumia also added the move forms part of the government’s digitalization agenda.
However, speaking to UniversNews, Patrick Danquah opined that instead of spending money to provide students with tablets, the government should improve the learning environment of some SHSs, as some lack electricity and other basic infrastructure.
“If it’s just for their textbooks and past questions recently they were given past questions and they also have textbooks. So if this is what they are going to do, I think it’s just duplicating something that is already there and already textbooks in the system that is being sold are we going to stop using them? We also need to look at the inconveniences of places where they don’t have electricity and all that.”
Patrick Danquah stated that the government should carry out a ‘needs’ assessment to find out if tablets for SHS students would be necessary.
“There should be a need assessment. We need to find out if it’s necessary to do it because it’s not going to be free. It’s not like we are going to get grants of laptops or tablets for them, it’s going to be paid for and we are already complaining that we don’t have money in the system, it’s not going to be free so we need to do a need assessment and find out if it’s necessary to get that done.”
He also added that various stakeholders of SHSs should have proper engagements on how students would be monitored on their usage of these electronic devices as well as produce a policy document on the effective execution of this initiative.
“When they are in class, are we guaranteed that when they have internet connectivity, they are not going to be watching videos on their phone but to be reading out their text. I think proper stakeholder engagement should be had and a proper document should be put on it. We can develop a policy document on how we intend to execute it and then we can take things up from there. Other than that, I think it will be a little bit premature for us to spend money on these gadgets, especially in times where children have to be reasonably monitored when they are using such gadgets.”
Story by: Kuuku Osei-Baidoo | univers.ug.edu.gh