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Govt’s claim of training 313,250 students in coding questionable; students in Bongo, Tongo, Bolga not trained

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The NPP, ahead of the 2020 election said it had introduced programming at the Junior and Senior High schools. Stemming from that, the government argued that some 313,250 basic school students had been introduced to basic coding. Also, coding had been introduced at 25 SHSs and the supply of equipment was in progress.

These were contained in the manifesto of the NPP ahead of election 2020.

The claims of the government are however being called into question. Albert Naa, an IT Consultant and CEO of Norgence Academy, doubts the veracity of the government’s claim.

Speaking on the Day Break Upper East Show, Mr. Naa explained that most Junior High Schools in the Upper East Region, with specific attention to Bongo District, Talensi District and Bolgatanga Municipality [operational areas of the Norgence Academy], do not have IT equipment and as such could not have participated in any meaningful coding training programme.

“We introduced the North Bridge ICT to bridge that gap and after going through many schools in these areas [Bolga, Bongo and Tongo], the story is not anything good to write home about. Access is still a problem. Governments over the years have done their best to provide ICT infrastructure but it is woefully inadequate.”

“It is not about saying that we have introduced this number of pupils to coding. There is an essence. There is an end goal for the initiative. Has it been achieved? If we have a couple of students and once in a while we introduce them to some coding which is word of mouth or on the blackboard and then you go and add it numbers you say you have trained, it won’t be proper.”

According to Mr. Naa, to quickly address the inadequacies in IT infrastructure, the government must focus on providing mobile IT facilities that can serve a number of institutions simultaneously.

The CEO of Norgence while commending the government for the initiative to provide laptops for teachers was quick to add that more needs to be done to build the competence of the teachers who would later instruct the students. He said if students are exposed to properly structured coding or programming lessons, they would have more expansive views on IT as they grow.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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