Smart schools project deserves particular attention

Since education is touted as being the key to every country’s development and both education and development are dynamic, there is the need to always make education be in tune with the current circumstances.

Therefore, the launch of the Smart Schools Project in the country, an initiative of the Min­istry of Education with support from the Centre for National Distance Learning and Open Schools (CENDELOS), is very much appropriate.

This is a project designed to equip students in the country with the requisite technological skills and know-how for modern educational achievement.

To make the project a reality, the government is set to provide about 1.3 million students a tablet each and go ahead to construct 100 smart schools across all the country’s 16 regions to provide modern learning environment and digital training.

Besides, to give the public a firm assurance of its resolve to carry through the project, the government has provided the names of the 100 places where the smart schools will be located and the timelines for their com­pletion.

The first 30 will be completed by the end of this year and the remaining 70 in the next two years.

We do not know how much each of the schools will cost, but considering the high cost of goods and services in the country currently and the facilities to be provided in the buildings, as well as the dollarisation of the economy, we can guess even the first 30 are going to cost millions of dollars translating into billions of Ghana cedis.

It is an open secret that public projects in the country are bedev­iled with much corruption by way of over-invoicing, for instance, whose impact on the execution of the projects is dire.

Over-invoicing can inflate the cost of the project and this, cou­pled with ever-increasing prices of goods and services, can throw the cost out of gear and stall the project.

Looking at the importance of and urgency for the smart schools, we appeal to the Presi­dency and the Ministry of Edu­cation to pay particular attention to their construction and provi­sion of the relevant facilities.

Just think about the fact that the project is in fulfilment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4), which is aimed at “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030.

In spite of the huge progress the Akufo-Addo government has made in the education sector, in terms of the SDG4, the country is far behind time, so any acts that can draw the country further back must not be countenanced at all, not even in a small mea­sure.

The Ghanaian Times is very much elated generally about the smart school project but par­ticularly about the fact that the school buildings will be fitted with solar panels to have them off the national electricity grid.

Thus, hopefully, they will not suffer disruptions in energy supply and with the infrastruc­ture going to be made to meet the country’s unique climatic conditions, no doubt, the smart schools will provide a conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning.

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