A tutor taking the kids through computer lessons
Four thousand, nine hundred and forty-six pupils in eight districts of the Ashanti and the Brong-Ahafo Regions have benefited from a free computer training programme in the past three months.
Most of the beneficiaries had the opportunity of using the computer and the internet for the first time.
The training initiative was undertaken by the Otumfuo-Agroecom Mobile Library Project (OAMLP) – a subsidiary of the Otumfuo Charity Foundation – in collaboration with Agroecom Ghana Ltd – a cocoa buying company.
It is to ensure that less fortunate children in deprived communities enjoy the same learning conditions as other children in the urban areas, as well as encourage the habit of reading and the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) among basic school pupils, among others.
The beneficiary areas included Sekyere North, Bekwai Municipality, Atwima Mponua, Bibaini-Anwhiaso-Bekwai, Bosomtwe, Offinso Municipality, New Edubaise and Goaso.
The Country Coordinator of Agroecom Ghana Ltd, Muhammadu Muzzammil, described the role of the OAMLP as very crucial in bridging the gap between pupils in urban areas and their counterparts in the hard-to-reach areas of the country.
He stated that the project christened, ‘Otumfuo-Agroecom Mobile Library Project,’ consists of three major parts namely, reading, ICT and cinema.
The cinema is intended to bring a message from Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, as it exhibits the rich Ghanaian culture, and educate farmers on good agricultural practices, farm management, information from the cocoa industry and projection of Agroecom in the communities.
After touring some schools in the cocoa growing areas, it came to light that about 40 percent of the pupils in the selected villages confirmed that they had not seen computers before, except the drawings they see in their textbooks.
Although there were ICT teachers in some of the schools, resources such as textbooks and computers were not available.
Since the inception of the Otumfuo Mobile Library project, it has covered parts of Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo and Volta Regions, where the children have benefitted from ICT training.
It focuses on improving learning conditions of children by providing basic academic resources such as reading books and computer lessons (ICT) to those in primary, junior and senior high schools.
With the help of generators, staff of the project spend several days in communities where the children and some members of the communities take turns to access the computers, internet services, variety of library books, among other services.
In June this year, Agroecom Ghana Ltd presented a cheque of GH¢1.4 million to the Otumfuo Charity Foundation at a special ceremony in Kumasi, to support the operations of the Otumfuo Mobile Library project for the next four years.
The amount presented was meant to help in the procurement of a pickup, a cargo van, 60 laptops, a generator, two projectors and screens, a video camera and allowance for 30 staff of the foundation for the four years that the project would be in place.
The collaborative project is aimed at not only bettering the learning facilities in villages in the cocoa growing areas, but also provide knowledge on cocoa farming and build pride and understanding of the glorious history of the Asante Kingdom.
Agroecom Ghana Ltd has been present in Ghana from 2013 when it took over Armajaro Global Cocoa, which was established in 2000.
It has since then been involved in the rural parts of the country to create better livelihoods for farmers.
When contacted, Dr Thomas Agyarku-Poku, Executive Director of the Otumfuo Charity Foundation, lauded Agroecom Ghana Ltd for the support, which had come to boost the strength of OAMLP.