The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has inaugurated a fully furnished Information and Communications Technology (ICT) laboratory for the Sefwi-Wiawso Senior High School (SHS) in the Wiawso municipality in the Western North Region.
The laboratory, which has 40 new desktop computers with accessories, was funded by the Ghana Investment for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) and aims at providing ICT opportunities for schools as part of the effort to bridge the digital gap in the country.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said the government was committed to equipping young people with the skills they needed to succeed in life, considering the current technological revolution, and emphasised the critical role technology played in the digital world, hence the need for all to be ICT literate.
She commended Dr Kwaku Afriyie, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, and other prominent indigenes of Wiawso for their role in making the project a reality.
The minister advised the students to use the laboratory profitably, especially for research, to be abreast of current technological achievements.
The government, she said, was committed to providing students with the right skills, devices and training to enable them to compete favourably with their peers in other countries.
The Administrator of GIFEC, Mr Prince Ofosu Sefah, said the significant role of ICT in development could not be overemphasised and commended President Akufo-Addo for ensuring that school children acquired the relevant skills to make them functional in the knowledge society.
He said GIFEC was facilitating teaching and learning of ICT in basic and senior high schools (SHSs) through the deployment of ICT equipment and Internet facilities, pointing out: "We are doing this with the school connectivity project, through which desktops, printers and scanners are being provided for over 1,020 schools across the country."
Mr Sefah said 26 basic and SHSs had benefited from the project in the Western North Region, while more than 7,000 people, including teachers, students, artisans, head porters and identifiable women’s groups, had been trained in basic ICT skills in the region.
The Assistant Headmaster of the Sefwi-Wiawso SHS, Mr Benjamin Ballow, expressed gratitude to the government and hoped it continued to assist the school cater for the increasing enrolment as a result of the free SHS policy.
He said the school offered ICT as an elective subject and so the facility would help the teaching and learning of the subject, and urged other organisations to support the school.
Rural Telephony Project
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful also inspected work on the government-funded Ghana Rural Telephony and Digital Inclusion Project at Abrabra and Nkonya as part of her tour of GIFEC project sites in the Sefwi-Wiawso municipality.
She also inaugurated a Rural Telephony Project site at Mile 3 in the same district.
The Rural Telephony Project is implemented by GIFEC, in partnership with Huawei and Mobile Network Operators ((MNOs) through a tripartite partnership arrangement which offers a significant reduction in cost of ownership and maintenance by as much as 70 per cent.
The project seeks to provide telecommunications infrastructure and service for communities where MNOs are unable to deploy due to economic or other constraints.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful was accompanied by the Chief Director of the ministry, Mrs Magdalene Apenteng; Director, Research, Statistics and Information Management, Mr Alfred Nortey; the Deputy Administrator, GIFEC, Ms Eva Andoh-Opoku, and the Municipal Chief Executive for Sefwi Wiawso, Mr Lewis Owusu Agyapong.