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Technology as an Enabler of Inclusive Learning for Children Living with Disabilities

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MEST Africa in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation hosted the last edition of Edtech Monday for the year 2022, focusing on the challenges faced by learners with disabilities, on Citi FM, Ghana.

This show was moderated by Nathan Quao and featured an expert panel including Rose Ofosuhemaa Darko, National Inclusive Education Coordinator at Special Education Division, GES; Derick Omari, CEO of Tech ERA; and Fared Ibrahim Gombilla, a Social Worker at Krowor Municipal Assembly and an individual living with visual impairment.
The show focused on the theme “EdTech as an enabler of education for learners living with disabilities” to raise awareness of the barriers children living with disabilities face when accessing education. Some important issues e raised and discussed include :

1. The facilities currently available to support education of learners with disabilities?

2. The problems learners living with disabilities face in accessing education?

3. How does technology help learners with disability, overcome barriers to education?

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Background of inclusive education in Ghana

Rose Ofosuhemaa Darko opened up the discussion by expressing her organization’s passion for ensuring all children living with disabilities, gain quality education, without any barriers.
“We are poised to see to it that children with disabilities in our country are trained and educated so that they can live as independent human beings in adulthood,” Rose Darko said.
She went on to explain that the current state of Ghanaian schools is heavily segregated. She provided the below highlights in this regard.

● Currently, there are 28 special boarding schools across the country and 2 main schools for the visually impaired.

● There are only 4 integrated schools for the visually impaired.
● Thirteen (13) basic schools for the deaf and

● One (1) senior high school for the deaf only.

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● One (1) integrated senior high school for the deaf, and

● Twelve (12) schools for intellectual and developmental disabilities.
She gave the assurance that this form of segregated schooling would soon phase out with the implementation of the government’s “well-developed policy” to ensure inclusive education.

Derick Omari, another panelist, highlighted that much more was needed to put an end to the educational barriers faced by children with disabilities.

Yes, it’s great that they are piloting an inclusive education model, but currently blind students don’t learn science and math in Senior High School and University, which is severe and cannot be ignored. Besides that, many Muslim mothers of children with disability,struggle to cater to the needs of their children or to send them to school due to the struggle of inaccessible transport systems and mostly government schools complaining of the fact that they are not well-resourced with equipped teachers to be able to support the children,” Derrick further added.

Recounting his experience, Fared Ibrahim Gombilla shared that he had no access to any kind of educational technology until he got to junior high school, where he was introduced to the computer. However, he, along with other students, was only given a “cursory introduction to the use of computers.”

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He further indicated that even if the inclusive policy is successfully implemented, “people on the ground don’t have the training to be able to teach persons with disabilities, and I’m not just focusing on the visual impact.”

He, therefore, underscored the need for more training and how technology can be made more easily accessible.

How technology can ensure inclusive education.

According to Rose, introducing technology such as computers and tablets to children with disability at an early stage can greatly help children with disability, particularly those who are unable to hold or write with a pen.

The use of computers and tablets will enable children with disability keep up with the pace of other students.
Derick Omari also noted that accessible technology such as talking computers can help children compute mathematical and scientific equations with ease. Derrick further noted that his organization “provides the development of braille geometry to help blind students in junior high school to be able to follow classroom learning,” and enable them to draw accurate geometric shapes.
Fareed shared his experience of how technology made inclusive education a lot easier for him. He indicated that with tech applications like Seeing Ai on Android devices and Keeble on iOS devices, he was able to read texts without any struggle, which made research easier and the ability to write his masters without difficulty.
…One of my most exciting moments is to be able to get a hard copy text, let’s say a book and use my phone through a software called Seeing Ai or the Keeble to read hard copy text.”

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Watch the full discussion here.

About Edtech Mondays

EdTech Mondays is an initiative of the Mastercard Foundation’s Regional Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT and part of the Foundation’s strategy to find solutions to Africa’s youth employment by closing the gap in access to quality education, and advancing the integration of technology in education policies and practices across Africa.

To realise this vision in Ghana, the Mastercard Foundation has partnered with MEST Africa, a pan-African technology institution to bring EdTech Monday, on the last Monday of every month.

 

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People & Lifestyle

Delta Airlines is focused on being reliable with its business in Ghana

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Delta Airlines

One of America’s major Airlines, Delta Airlines has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to the Ghanaian market, signaling a strong dedication to fostering air travel connectivity in the country.

As a major player in the global aviation industry, Delta acknowledges the importance of the Ghanaian market and underscores its commitment to providing top-notch services for passengers traveling to and from Ghana.

The Managing Director of International Communications for Delta Airlines, Rahsaan Johnson in an in interaction with Ghanaian media at the Atlanta Headquarters of Delta,  emphasised the airline’s commitment to reliability within the Ghanaian market. Dispelling rumors circulating mainly on social media platforms that the aircraft serving African routes, particularly Ghana, are obsolete or unsuitable for travel, Rahsaan highlighted Delta’s strategic focus on ensuring a dependable and consistent air travel experience for passengers in Ghana.

Read Also: Lifestyle: Delta And Virgin Atlantic To Form Strategic Alliance

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He further touched on the several awards Delta Airlines has received, highlighting its consistent recognition as the most distinguished airline in the United States for customer service, satisfaction, reliability, and punctuality.

“I would say Delta is first of all the most awarded airline in the United States of America. For several years, at least 10 years, Delta has had the highest ranking in customer service, customer satisfaction, reliability, fewest cancellations and most on-time performance,” he said

Rahsaan Johnson to a greater extent disclosed that customers traveling from Accra have consistently rated Delta among their top choices for satisfaction across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

“Our focus in Ghana is to uphold the already high levels of customer satisfaction. Passengers flying with Delta from Accra consistently provide us with some of our highest satisfaction ratings across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East,” he emphasized.

While addressing concerns about aircraft selection, Rahsaan, made known that the multiple award-winning airline operated a diverse fleet capable of serving global destinations, stressing that the planes deployed on Ghana routes are also used for flights within the United States, Europe, South America, and beyond.

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He specifically asserted that the Boeing 767-300 aircraft used for flights to and from Ghana, also caters to some of Delta’s most valued customers on routes like New York to Los Angeles.

In the words of the director, “The 767-300 airplane that we fly to Ghana carries some of our highest-paying customers en route between New York and Los Angeles for example. The aircraft that we fly to and from Ghana, is the right size aircraft for us to be financially successful in Ghana.”

“What we want to do is to have a strong business that allows us to give the right amount of service to the community so that we can fly that route every day, so we can fly that route and be successful. The alternative is a larger airplane for fewer flights a day or fewer flights per week,” he added.

With air travel playing an integral role in connecting nations and fostering economic and cultural exchanges, reliability becomes a cornerstone for airline success. As Delta continues to operate in the Ghanaian market, its commitment to reliability is not only a commitment to punctuality but also an assurance of consistent service quality. The airline industry is highly competitive, and Johnson’s statement signals Delta’s intent to distinguish itself through a reputation for reliability.

Delta has operated nonstop service from Accra to New York-JFK since December 2006. Delta currently operates a daily flight and has overall, transported more than 1,350,000 customers between Ghana and the United States since 2006.

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People & Lifestyle

Africa Games Armwrestling: Golden Arms to grab Golden Gold for Ghana, receives boost from NHIS, HD+, KOFATA and others.

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The National Armwrestling team, Golden Arms has set an ambitious target of securing a third of Ghana’s total medal haul at the forthcoming Africa Games scheduled for March 08 to 23,2024.

Coming into the Games for the first time, the Golden Arms are poised and ready to make history again in order to add up to Ghana’s medal haul towards its host and win agenda.

Mr. Charles Osei Asibey, President of the Ghana Armwrestling Federation (GAF) said the team being  in camp since February is unprecedented in their preparation for any major championship thus super ready to deliver at the continental stage on promise.

“We are ready to give the rest of Africa a tough competition as always. We have medals targets for Ghana, my hardworking team has had enough preparations and I am convinced they will show up to put up a good show.”

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Currently in camp at Legon, the Golden Arms have received major boost from the Armwrestling board, development partners National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) through their sports is good health agenda spearheaded by CEO Dr. Oko Boye, SES HD Plus through the Kids Armwrestling future champions program, Kofata Motors, the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) through the federations support, Minister and Ministry of Youth & Sports who ensured Armwrestling is well placed, the Local Organizing Committee and friends, all to get the team thrive at the 13th Africa Games in Accra. The various support directed towards training equipment, medics, team preparation, kitting and other logistical needs.

Mr. Osei Asibey urged Ghanaians to rally behind the team as they go in to conquer the rest of Africa on March 15 and  16, 2024 at the Cedi Hall, University of Ghana.

The Ghana National Armwrestling Team, the Golden Arms having dominated the continent for the past yeare, will hunt for Gold and bring Ghana that glory it deserves.

Source www.ghanaarmwrestling.org

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People & Lifestyle

Holy Child alumni illuminate the path forward amidst national school power crisis

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HOPSA SOLAR PANEL 1

In recent times, the narrative of power challenges in Ghanaian schools has escalated, with numerous public institutions such as Mfantsipim School, Accra Academy, and Mondo Senior High Technical School among others facing abrupt electricity disconnections. 

This persistent issue highlights the dire need for sustainable solutions in powering educational facilities, crucial for maintaining the quality of education.

Stepping into the spotlight with a pioneering initiative, the 1999 alumni of Holy Child School have set a remarkable precedent.

 In a bid to combat these electricity woes, these visionary women have successfully funded the transition of their alma mater to 75% solar energy. This initiative not only addresses the immediate problem of power outages and financial strains on the school’s budget but also serves as a beacon of climate-positive action with the potential for carbon credit benefits.

Founded in 1946 by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, Holy Child School has long stood as a bastion of educational excellence and societal impact in Ghana. Its alumni include distinguished personalities such as Ghana’s Ambassador to France, Anna Bossman; Goldman Sachs Vice President, Sabina Dankwah; and University of Ghana’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Amfo, to name a few.

The Solar Project

This solar project, a gift from the 1999 alumni commemorating their 25th anniversary and coinciding with the school’s 78th speech and prize-giving day, symbolizes a profound act of giving back and forward.

 In an exclusive interview with the Business and Financial Times, engineer Ing. Mrs. Sheila Enyonam Akyea, president of the year group, shared:  “This project builds on the foundation laid by our predecessors. We’re thrilled to extend their initial contribution, ensuring every corner of our school benefits. It’s our way of ensuring current and future students receive the same level of empowerment and opportunity we had.”

Project’s Committee Chair Ing. Mrs. Teresa Kyei-Mensah, mentioned the substantial investment the solar installation demands, emphasizing ongoing fundraising efforts.

she said: “Once completed, the initiative promises significant savings for the school and, by extension, the Ghana Education Service, redirecting funds towards essential educational resources,” she added.

Solar power, increasingly recognized for its affordability and environmental benefits, stands as a viable solution for Ghana’s educational sector and its broader climate goals. With abundant sunshine year-round, Ghana is ideally positioned to harness solar energy, reducing the financial burden on public resources while contributing to global carbon reduction efforts.

The project was completed in January 2024 after a 1-month testing phase. The year group eagerly anticipate the handover ceremony at the 78th Speech and Prize-Giving Day of Holy Child School in Cape Coast on Saturday, 9th March 2024 marking a significant milestone in their commitment to sustainable development and quality education in Ghana. 

This initiative not only lights the way for other schools grappling with similar challenges but also underscores the powerful impact of alumni engagement in shaping a brighter future for the next generation.