The Executive Director and the Inspector-General of Schools of the National Schools Inspectorate Authority (NaSIA) has said that the Authority has introduced policy measures that promote the extensive use of ICT as a mode of teaching and learning in all public and private pre-tertiary schools in the country.
Dr Haggar Hilda Ampadu said the institution formerly known as the National Inspectorate Board (NIB)’s e-learning guidelines equips schools to design and set up online learning systems for learners nationwide.
She was speaking as a panelist on the 2nd Day of the 72nd Annual New Year School Conference at the University of Ghana, on the theme, ‘ICT for the Provision of Inclusive Quality Education and Lifelong Learning’.
The panel, which was chaired by Professor Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi of the University of Ghana, featured Dr Patrick Awuah, Founder of Ashesi University, as the second panellist.
Dr Ampadu stated, “NaSIA recognises the need for the continuation of teaching and learning in this time of crisis, hence in April last year we published the national e-learning guidelines for pre-tertiary schools in response to Covid-19 and school closures.
“The e-learning programme offers learners several ways to participate in learning experiences that promote their mastery of content and are in line with national and international content standards.
“With the adoption of ICT for Lifelong learning, Dr Ampadu said, “Government places a high emphasis on ICT in Education and has been part of Government’s Education Policy since 2007.”
She further stated that the Education Ministry has included ICT for lifelong learning in its Education Strategic Plan, 2018-2030, NaCCA has modified curriculum to include compulsory ICT, and NTC has made ICT a requirement for Continuous Professional Licensing.
“All these interventions will go a long way in ensuring NaSIA enforces sets standards with regards to ICT in all public and private Pre-Tertiary Educational Institutions (PTEI) from KG to SHS.”
As regards monitoring of schools e-learning platforms, the Inspector General of Schools clarified that NaSIA will continue to use its Inspection Evaluation Framework (IEF) to conduct Virtual Inspections which will seek to evaluate the quality of teaching and learning standards.
During the question-and-answer session, Dr. Ampadu said in terms of inclusivity of learning during the pandemic, private schools had some infrastructure to offer learning in a virtual environment whereas public schools offered learning via TV and Radio.
On his part, Dr. Patrick Awuah, the Founder of Ashesi University, stated that, “Ashesi’s ICT strategy focused on connectivity, security, software development, and training in order to maximize access to technology by students.
He added that Ashesi’s IT resources are stored in the cloud and this helps them run very few servers because they back-up in the cloud and locally.
Dr Ampadu ended her presentation by challenging the University to collaborate more with government.
In her concluding remarks, she mentioned that inclusive education is a challenge in most parts of the world and not a Ghanaian problem and more precarious is the role of higher education.
To solve this problem, academicians need to collaborate with government to undertake research on inclusivity so that policymakers can implement the research findings.