A three-day training dubbed “Skills4Success” aimed at equipping lecturers from colleges of education and universities as well as student tutors with advanced knowledge and skills in digital literacy and factual writing has ended in Accra.
The project which is a collaborative effort between the British Council, Wikimedia Foundation and the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) drew 26 lecturers and student tutors from the colleges of education and universities who were taken through different modules intended to be transferred to the student teachers they were training.
According to the organizers, the project had the potential to improve the employability, academic performance and boost confidence of the student teachers to engage in the digital community.
The participants were selected from the Presbyterian College of Education, Jasikan College of Education, Bagabaga College of Education, Holy Child College of Education, St Louis College of Education, University of Education, Winneba and the University of Cape Coast.
The project implemented in November last year in Ghana is in its pilot phase and if successful would be extended to other African countries including Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
Regional Support Schools Manager at the British Council, Ms. Shongai Ziki in an interview said digital literacy had become an important skill in many jobs and teaching was no exception.
“We want the student teachers to have the confidence to engage with technology and to tell the difference between fake news and information that is from a good source as well as contribute to it,” she indicated.
She added: “The main goal is to improve their digital skills through the tutors who train them. And when the student teachers go to the classroom, they are also able to impact the knowledge and skills to the pupils and students that they teach.”
Senior Regionals Partnership Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa at Wikimedia Foundation, Rudolf Ampofo, described the project as one that was in sync with the government’s digitization efforts as it focused on teachers and the educational sector.
“As you begin the steps to digitize the educational system, one of the key components is teacher capacity building. You need the teachers, learners, parents and system working in unison,” he said.
A project facilitator, Dr Samuel Kwesi Nkansah, Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, said as a trainer of teachers for the basic schools, it was their duty to explore ventures that made teaching and learning more relevant and of an international character.
On his part, Head of Professional Development Center, Aga Khan Academy at Mombasa, Dr Maina Anthony Gioko, who was one of the trainers intimated that since students spent most of their time in school, training their teachers to pass on this transferable knowledge to them would aid them to differentiate between fake and true information on media platforms.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO