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With regard to the current stalemate Ghanaian Senior High School (SHS) Education is in, I would want to make a few suggestions as well as pose some questions, answers to which could help prevent this trend from repeating in the future. First, I suggest the Ghana Education Service (GES) help by adapting some lessons from other developing countries, in both Africa and worldwide especially with regards to political interference in the education process.
Secondly, I suggest the 2nd year students can be made to vacate the school premises for their respective homes since they are beneficiaries of the PSI-DL initiative. Thus they should be already accustomed to learning via television and radio, one thing that could be of immense help with regard to the 1st year students’ accommodation problem temporarily. This is because the three year groups (fourth, third and second years are pursuing a different curriculum hence one of such groups could be made to (sacrifice) one year of their program in order to allow the current (2010-2011) first years remain accommodated on campus to pursue the (old curriculum), as I call the curriculum that did not include much of the PSI-DL facilities. Can we know the official position of the CRDD on this and can anything be done on the current curriculum, can it be modified to make use of the affordances of ICTs?
Such a move and other ICT-enhanced educational projects can be made sustainable. Perhaps, some strategies need to be developed for eventual adaptation of the two curricula to ensure continuance and sustainability of ICT mediated SHS education. PTA bodies should perhaps form a national coalition of some sort or aid in the development of strong civil society organizations (CSOs) for advocacies on a national platform as well as help the government with regard to the current crisis.
The Mexicans have a strong SHS system, leveraging upon the affordances of ICTs and other innovative platforms to enhance their SHS system. Same can be said of China, the China TV University System(1). With regard to costs, such systems elsewhere have also achieved cost-effectiveness through economies of scale.
Is there equity of access to ICTs in education in Ghana? At least we can agree that quite a considerable number of households in Ghana own either a radio set or TV or both. Nonetheless, we should as a country heed the words of Bikas Sanyal, UNESCO, International Institute for Educational Planning,” Until computers are available at home, a nationwide network of Community Learning Centers should be set up stocked with computer laboratories with broadband access and trained staff to access online distance learning courses”. This indeed is a clarion call we must heed to ensure global competitiveness.
On enhancing access, Ms Tinio alludes to research from Perraton, H. and C. Creed,“Applying New Technologies…”, p. 38-39. …”One exception is the television-based project Telesecundaria… which in 1997-98 was serving over 750,000 junior secondary students in 12,000 centres in Mexico”.( 2)

Thus the services of Instructional Designers can be contracted to help in further gravitation of the other courses or subjects if we want to see to the needs of the remaining batches (2010-2013) of SHS students until they are phased out of the system. The Americans have done this so we can also learn from them. (3)
Specifically of computers and the Internet, Prof. Blurton makes an argument that could apply to other ICTs especially television thus, “[w]hen considering whether ICT is “cost-effective” in educational settings, a definitive conclusion may not be possible for a variety of reasons. However, when considering the alternative of building more physical infrastructure, the cost savings to be realized from sharing resources, and the societal price of not providing access, ICT as a means of enabling teaching and learning appears to be an attractive and necessary alternative.”(4)
Such interventions “are more cost-efficient the larger their audience since the high cost of production is distributed over a larger viewer base while no staff expenditures are made for learner support”(5)

References

1 In Asia, the 44 radio and TV universities in China (including the China Central Radio and Television University), Universitas Terbuka in Indonesia, and Indira Ghandi National Open University have made extensive use of radio and television, both for direct class teaching and for school broadcasting, to reach more of their respective large populations. For these institutions, broadcasts are often accompanied by printed materials and audio cassettes.
Victoria Tinio, “ICTs IN EDUCATION”, p.14

2 Victoria Tinio, “ICTs IN EDUCATION”, p.19
3 While virtually every educational institution in North America now includes a service department charged with assisting instructors with course development, in all but exceptional cases, these departments have not disrupted the traditional breakdown of roles and responsibilities for course design and development.
http://highereducationmanagement.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/500-million-digital-media-for-online-higher-ed/
4 Blurton, C.,“New Directions of ICT-Use in Education”, p. 24.
5 Victoria Tinio, “ICTs IN EDUCATION”, p.20

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One Comment

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