A Lecturer at the School of Medicine, University for Development Studies (UDS), Dr Gideon Helegbe says the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic should be a clarion call for the Ghana Education Service (GES) to permit Senior High School (SHS) students to use phones and laptops while in school.

Dr Helegbe said allowing the SHS students to use those ICT equipment in school would make things easier for teachers and students to undertake academic activities.

He was speaking at a two-day training workshop organised in Tamale on the theme; “Preparing the Senior High School Tutors for Effective Teaching in the Era of Covid-19 and Future Pandemics: the Role of DAAD Alumni”.

It was organised by DAAD Alumni and supported by the Ghana Science Association. Participants included; SHS tutors and students from seven SHSs in the Northern Region and staff of public universities. including UDS and the University of Cape Coast.

The SHSs are Yendi SHS, Vittin SHS, Savelugu SHS, St Charles Minor Seminary SHS, Tamale Girls SHS, Ghana SHS, and Tamale SHS.

It was to train participants on how to use online platforms effectively for teaching and learning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants were introduced to e-learning platforms such as zoom, Instagram, adoctus amongst others.

Dr Helegbe said, “Covid-19 has brought a new normal, limiting the number of individuals in classrooms and gatherings and therefore it has affected so many activities including teaching and learning for students and lecturers. So, we have to be innovative.”

He added that; “while the universities were making strides during the lockdown, we observed that the SHSs had a challenge; they do not have the environment to encourage learning in schools. The students are not allowed to use smartphones and laptops in schools and that limits their exposure.”

Dr Helegbe said, “if SHS students miss out and topics are not handled properly, it will have a challenge for them and also for the lecturers at the university” hence, the need to adopt online platforms for continuous teaching and learning to properly prepare them for tertiary education.

He urged SHS tutors and students to impress on the heads of their schools, the need to adopt ICT tools for continuous teaching and learning.

The GES’ regulations do not permit SHS students to use mobile phones.

Dr Abdul Nashirudeen Mumuni, Head of Department, Medical Imaging, UDS, and Honourary General Secretary, Ghana Science Association, endorsed the call for SHS students to use ICT equipment in school. He however noted that there is the need for a policy to guide the use of the ICT equipment for teaching and learning.

Mr Zakari Nuhu, Chemistry Teacher at Tamale SHS lauded the training, saying the only challenge to its implementation is the fact that ICT devices such as mobile phones are not permitted for use by students.

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