ICT in Ghana schoolsThis is a featured page

The new curriculum for ICT at Ghana SHS requires schools to have not only computer labs but also internet access. Although schools (PTA) were entitled to collect 3 GHc per student per term for ICT purposes (for the coming schoolyear 2009-2010 its even 5 GHc), which most schools do collect, so far only few schools (mostly in the big cities) have been able to actually connect to the net. And of the schools that have been connected only few seem to be able to maintain their link, because the often seem to miss payments of bandwidth, which causes them to be disconnected by their ISP (internet service provider).

So it still happens that many ICT teachers in schools in Ghana draw a computer on the blackboard to start explaining the functions of the different parts. Although many schools seem to be able to obtain computer-donations from NGO's, corporate sponsoring, members of parliament, UN or Worldbank programs, or even in smart deals with e.g. phone companies who donate computers in exchange for permission to construct a mast on school premises, most schools still do not have internet access. Even the phone companies, are technically not able to provide schools with enough bandwidth to run a computerlab.

Especially in the rural areas, the internet access is technically difficult and very expensive. Twifo Connect Assin Foso

In a rural area, most ISPs offer only satellite connection, whereby a 2.4m satellite dish usually costs between 14,000 and 16,000 US$ (which is too much of an investment for most schools) and bandwidth in Africa is so far excessively expensive.

One company which was targeting schools was the South African Accelon (currently renamed IS), which offered much cheaper small dishes (1.2m at US$ 2,700.-) but their bandwidht was even much more expensive especially so now they have added VAT beginning 2009 (so that in the long run it became even far more expensive than the large dish solution) and as KU-band not very well suited for hilly, wooded areas and rainy weather. Smaller bandwidth could not cope to give acceptable access to the popular sites (yahoo, hotmail, gmail etc) during daytime, and the larger dedicated bandwidths were just way-way too expensive. Also frequently there was no connection and the excuse was that it was raining in Nigeria (where their base station hub is located). This is of course a very silly situation because it is raining very often in Nigeria. Why did they put their hub in a rainforrest area in the first place?

In Coastal Towns all the hopes were placed in Broadband4U, a service supplied by Ghana Telecom (now Vodaphone). This service appeared to be very cheap but woefully inadequate for school computerlabs or even internet cafes. Besides that the service from the technical staff was etremely bad and the connection very instable with many down-time situations per hour.

One ISP who is now offering good quality and fast bandwidth at a reasonable price, especially to schools in the rural areas, is Twifo Connect ltd. Twifo Conenct has so far mostly supplied High-schools and training colleges in the Central Region (like Fosco, TwiPASS, Adisadel, Health Assistants Training School HATS and Komenco) but they are now developing new technical solutions to bring the net to other locations in Ghana too.

Link to sponsorship for ICT in Ghana Schools by Sankofa.

Children in internet cafe

Latest page update: made by andy.shilongo , Sep 17 2009, 9:47 PM EDT (about this update About This Update andy.shilongo Edited by andy.shilongo

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