Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, wants the Education Ministry to negotiate with telcos for a reduction in data prices for basic schools across the country.

This follows concerns of lack of access to teaching and learning by pupils after the closure of public institutions by government, as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Many academic institutions have migrated course modules and activities online, to allow students catch up with lessons amid the ban on social distancing.

Even though it has become a novel way of dealing with the issue, students whose families do not have the financial muscle, cannot afford the luxury of devices and the internet connectivity to access these resources.

In this regard, Nortsu-Kotoe called for a dialogue between government and the internet service providers to bridge the equality gap in tuition.

“The Ministry of Education can negotiate with the telecom providers so that they can reduce the cost of data for students who are on the e-learning platform,” he said on Joy FM Midday News on April 24.

The Member of Parliament for Akatsi North Constituency added that, students in this bracket “should be given a subsidy so that the parents can afford.”

He also explained that government should have provided students with smartphones as part of its preparation ahead of the roll-out of its various online interventions.

E-learning platforms receive boost from Telcos amid Covid-19

Meanwhile, the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications (GCT) on April 14, announced that it has allowed “free access to over 100 educational online sites, e-learning platforms and libraries (public, private and foreign)” to enable students continue with academic activities from the comfort of their homes.

In a press statement, the Chamber also revealed, it was supporting “over 240,000 customers consuming over 3,000 GB (3TB) per day for educational purposes.”