EdTech Monday, an initiative of the Mastercard Foundation and MEST Africa was one of the most insightful and impactful shows of 2022.
The platform brought together policymakers, EdTech entrepreneurs, education stakeholders and parents to facilitate critical conversations on the use of technology for teaching and learning.
Below are highlights of the topics and discussions from the show that inspired and intrigued Ghanaians in 2022.
Celebrating African Women in Education and Technology
This episode of EdTech Monday in March, focused on celebrating women in the technology space in Ghana and how other women could pursue their tech aspirations. Panellists for the episode included Larisa Akrofie, a programme partner in TVET and Skills at Mastercard Foundation, Ohemaa Andoh, a proprietress of PM STEAM Educational centre at Takoradi, and Ivy Barley, co-founder of Developers in Vogue.
Larisa Akrofie, a programme partner in TVET and Skills at Mastercard Foundation, encouraged women aspiring to work in tech to make use of support groups as these help with the isolation and challenges that come with being in a male-dominated field. She also advised women to favour companies that value diversity in their work in the tech space.
Tech 4 Ed: Is It Ever “too Early
In this episode of EdTech Monday, parents, health professionals, educators, and policymakers shared their thoughts and insights on the benefits, fears, and impacts associated with introducing technology to children.
Panelists for the episode included Dr Abishai Anlimah, Clinical Psychologist at The Brain & Mind Centre, Dr Naomi Agyepong the Director of Operations at Alpha Beta Education Centres and Kukua Apenteng, a parent.
Panelists advised parents to keep their children (from birth to about 18 months) away from screens and tablets.
There is the need for local content to be maintained so children do not end up adopting foreign cultures at the expense of the local culture.
Using Ed-Tech to Drive Learning for Displaced Youth
Panelists, Philip Mawuli Kumahia, Education Associate with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Rya G. Kuewor, Co-Founder/CEO, of the RIO Cooperation and Mohammed, a Sudanese refugee spoke on the topic of “Using Ed-Tech To Drive Learning For Displaced Youth” According to a UNHCR report, only 68% of refugees are enrolled in primary school, 34% are in secondary education institutions, and only 5% are in tertiary education.
As a solution to the above, refugee integration expert,Rya G. Kuewor recommended plugging into existing edtech platforms such as Coursera, EdX, the UN Refugee Program, and other refugee-centered programs and scholarships to increase access and allow learners to learn at their own pace.
Harnessing the power of technology to create resilient education systems
This episode of EdTech Monday focused on the topic “Harnessing the power of technology to create resilient education systems.”
This episode featured Dr. Josephine Marie Godwyll, Founding Director of Young at Heart Ghana; Richmond Agyemang Jnr., a teacher at Nkawie Senior Secondary Technical School; and Amtu Akumfi-Ameyaw, the Women’s Commissioner of the University Students’ Association of Ghana (USAG).
Panelists discussed the need to close the disparity gap in resource availability such as electricity, and internet connectivity, at various community levels to ensure equal access to education and a robust educational system.
Coding for learners in Africa – July
Panelists on this episode of EdTech Monday encouraged parents to introduce their children to computer-assisted coding systems at an early age, as it will equip their problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking skills. The panelists included Ernestina Edem Appiah, Founder of Ghana Code Club; Florence Tofa, Founder of Mobile Web Ghana, Regina Honu, Founder of Soronko Academy.
Founder of Soronko Academy, Regina Honu emphasized that, in today’s digital age, coding is one of the pivots by which the development of the cognitive skills of children can be realized.
Digitising Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges – August
The month of August was centred on the topic “Digitizing Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges.” The entire discussion was a potpourri of problem identification, effective solutions, and insights around Ghana’s higher education system.
Speakers for the discussion included Prof. Kwesi Dartey-Baah, the Associate Professor of the University of Ghana Business School; Prof. Angela Owusu-Ansah, the Provost of Ashesi University; and Linda Arthur, a computer science student at Ashesi University and project manager at “She Knows Initiative.”
Education providers are obligated to adapt to various learning schedules to have more time-based engagements with their students through video conferencing calls and other digitized avenues, particularly during the height of the pandemic. This was to ensure seamless flow of the curriculum without interruption.
Using EdTech to enhance internet safety for learners
This episode focused on internet safety for learners at home and in school. Experts on the topic were Eric Kwaku Mensah, Lead, Financial Crimes & Anti-Money Laundering; Mrs. Sheila Sonekan, IT Manager, Ghana International School and Awo Aidam Amenyah, Executive Director, Child Online Africa.
Speakers on the Edtech Monday platform highlighted the need for parents, teachers, and school administrators to understand the risks and threats to young learners online and how to recognize and mitigate them. Measures shared include blacklisting URLs, educating students on online privacy, creating cyberbullying reporting systems, and the use of safety software to control what children or students watch or access online.
Advancing Girls’ Education Through Digital Learning
In commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child, the month of October focused on the topic “Advancing Girls’ Education Through Digital Learning.”
Three experts, Gifty Ghansah, Head Teacher of the African Science Academy; Ms. Muniratu Issifu, Programmes Director of CAMFED Ghana; and Linda Ansong, Cofounder of STEMbees brought to the fore key issues and opportunities that must be considered by all stakeholders when seeking to promote girls’ education with digital tools.
Panelists highlighted the importance of having women role models in science to inspire and increase the number of girls in the digital space.
EdTech as an enabler of education for learners living with disabilities
In November, the show featured an expert panel including Rose Ofosuhemaa Darko, National Inclusive Education Coordinator at Special Education Division, GES; Derick Omari, CEO of Tech ERA; and Fareed Ibrahim Gombilla, a Social Worker at Krowor Municipal Assembly and an individual living with visual impairment. Their discussion on “EdTech as an enabler of education for learners living with disabilities” highlighted the barriers to accessing high quality education for children living with disabilities.
Derick Omari shared the following measures government could take to ensure inclusive learning for disabled learners;, “The government needs to create an enabling environment to foster innovation for education technology for persons with disabilities by creating some form of tax exemption for local innovators who are focused in this area or attract investors to think long-term by providing them with favourable benefits to stir up innovation in the space.”
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