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Ghana ICT teacher instructs students in low-tech style

By Cal Jeffrey · 15 replies
Mar 1, 2018
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  1. Many TechSpot readers are experts in the field of information and communication technology (ICT) and its many subdivisions. Some may even be educators in computer science. But I wonder, how many of us (myself included) could teach computer courses to a classroom full of middle school students without having access to a PC?

    That is exactly what 33-year-old ICT teacher Owura Kwadwo Hottish has been doing at M/A Junior High School in Kumasi, Ghana, for the last six years. He does not just instruct the students about computers (what they are, how they work, etc.), he shows and teaches them how to use a PC without having one himself.

    Instead, Hottish's low-tech (no-tech) approach involves a blackboard and some colored chalk. Every day, he makes painstakingly accurate drawings of desktops, windows and icons to illustrate how to use various computer programs like Microsoft Word (pictured below).

    Hottish’s efforts were thrust into the spotlight when one of his Facebook posts featuring pictures of the drawings went viral a couple weeks ago. People were amazed at his attention to detail. “How many days did it take you to draw that?” one person asked in the comments.

    Hottish uses different colored chalk to depict tabs and icons as well as descriptions of various components of a software window. One would think the illustrations take days to put up on the board but Hottish says he only spends about 30 minutes before each class drawing them. In fact, the young teacher sees it as “no big deal.”

    “Every subject is taught on the blackboard here,” he told NPR in an interview. “I studied art and graphic design in secondary school [so it's not that hard].”

    He relates that his students can apply what he teaches when faced with an actual computer but not without some difficulty.

    “They sometimes fumble behind the real computers,” he said. That area of Ghana is poor and rural which makes access to an actual computer virtually non-existent.

    You would think that his dedication to his students would have generated some offers from philanthropists willing to provide the school with computers. Thus far, however, nobody has offered to help.

    “We are praying that they [meaning any generous sponsor] are able to organize themselves and present us with computers,” Hottish said.

    Surely it would be little more than a trifle for someone like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook or Elon Musk to pull some strings and get a whole fleet of computers to the school. Perhaps a little more public exposure (and pressure) can spur one of our wealthiest to step up to the plate and give a deserving teacher and his students something they could really use.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Evangelist Posts: 353   +138

    Damn all these children wasting their life in school. They should go out and learn how to be a farmer so that they can feed each other. Here in europe all the employees that work with computers are being layed off more and more and soon the AI and automatic programs will fully take over all administration.

    There's two banks over here. One is open for 2 hours in the afternoon and morning. The other only 3 hours in the morning. Ever been to a supermarket? You gotta yell to get that one cashier to actually do the cashier activity but hey a bunch of self scanners are over there.

    Hey sure go teach them how to do office, instead of something useful. Ancient romans didn't have computers nor electricity but their "rural" regions were far better off. So go build that country up. Europe will soon supply africa with plenty of people being sent back that can use an iphone.

    I can already see the next post: Donor sends them computers but school and whole town has no electricity. Also computers stolen on the way there. Truck with computers stuck since no roads and no bridges exist.

    Go collect some plastic or fight a war. Do something useful for once. Know what made Rome great? Wars. Wars solve problems.
     
    alabama man likes this.
  3. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Maniac Posts: 261   +174

    Those kids are fortunate to have a dedicated teacher.

    They'll more than likely attract attention and get donations to bring them into the digital age. Maybe even Oprah will do it since she has a school in South Africa.

    I don't feel "bad" looking at them. Those kids will grow up far more disciplined and far more resourceful than most of these American school kids will - busy staring at their smartphones, learning nothing but how to end up on the internet for something negative.

    After-all, we've all seen the state of American schoolchildren.

    The Fights. The violence. The FAILURE compared to their African and Asian counterparts who do far more with far less.

    Don't look down on them at all. They may not have the "material things" of wealthier entitled school kids, but I guarantee you, more of these kids will achieve far more than the wealthy kids will.

    Compare these African kid's English, Spanish, French and other foreign language or math scores to your average American public school.

    Discipline and Resourcefulness mean a whole lot in a world losing jobs to automation.

    They'll also have far more stable marriages and economic growth than your western kids who are DROWNING in student loan debt.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  4. dj2017

    dj2017 TS Addict Posts: 131   +114

    So, because you have the privilege of living in a country where technology is accessible, others shouldn't have an idea of what a computer is and how a computer program looks like. Nice.
    Arrogance level: Out of range.
     
    Sarcasm, 5W33J1N and QuantumPhysics like this.
  5. alabama man

    alabama man TS Guru Posts: 563   +355

    Still can't understand that if they can't afford to teach or feed children why they keep making them only to suffer? If you make kids to be your workers and emergency food supply you shouldn't expect help, first get help and decent conditions to start a family, then do it. Everyone shouldn't have the right to have kids, if their life will be pure misery why are they allowed to make more people to that misery especially when it will only make things worse and more people will suffer? I agree with nero7 that everyone should be raised farmer until they have no food shortages, when we had no food coming outside 70% of us were farmers, strange how they can't do the same when ½ of the year it's winter here so you can't even grow anything.

    "I can already see the next post: Donor sends them computers but school and whole town has no electricity. Also computers stolen on the way there. Truck with computers stuck since no roads and no bridges exist."

    Me too, I bet they were sent lots of computer already but the government stole them to teach soldiers CS or farm lootboxes or gold or something. You need to actually bring the computer to the school your self and even then it wont last a week before someone steals it or breaks it for spreading gay propaganda.
     
  6. Tempus

    Tempus TS Member Posts: 16   +9

    crocography likes this.
  7. sachouba

    sachouba TS Rookie

    It's not Western students who are drowning in student loan debt, it's American students.
    I live in a country were education is free, and the most prestigious schools are public, not private. Blame the US system, not "Western education".
     
  8. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Maniac Posts: 261   +174




    But even Europeans aren't escaping "student loan debt"

    Why do you think more and more European countries are at the edge of bankruptcy and adopting austerity?

    DEBT is just a vehicle that shifts entitlement spending around. If your students aren't paying it SOMEONE is.

    How are those "jobs for european graduates" doing?
     
  9. sachouba

    sachouba TS Rookie

    You're right about one thing: it's not students who pay for their studies, it's the State. Thanks to that, even lower class children can study and get a Masters Degree, because education is free for them.
    I'd rather live in such a system than in a country were only wealthy kids can study, and lower class people have to contract debt and live in misery to have an opportunity to get a higher class job.

    It means that you have to pay more taxes (when you earn enough), but you get free education and all of your health expenses are being paid for by the State.

    I don't know what those "jobs for european graduates" are, and I haven't found an answer on Google. What are they?
     
  10. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Maniac Posts: 261   +174


    I'm guessing part of your response was sarcastic.

    Bottom line: minorities and the underprivileged can't improve unless they do get some form of education that lifts them up.

    That's gonna happen regardless.

    The only questions are: what quality education will they get, will they take advantage of it and how much improvement will it make.
     
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,797   +4,605

    That's assuming they're given the opportunity though. If 10 people are educated and only 3 are needed, that leaves 7 out to dry. It is quite possible none of these kids will be asked to use their educational experience. I however do hope this creates a demand for more technology in the area, which will provide them the opportunity.
     
  12. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Evangelist Posts: 353   +138

    Privilege? My ancestors have fought and died and worked to build up the country to where it is now. So you saying white man should come over and supply them with computers and all because of african privilege?

    We all originate from the same place so ultimately it is fair. They should be learning something else. But hey I guess they have a glorious career in front of them as MS Paint artists if they ever get the electricity going.

    They don't even wear sandals.

    If you meet Obama on the way, perhaps he is willing to supply them with another 120 tomahawk missiles like he has done in Libya.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  13. dj2017

    dj2017 TS Addict Posts: 131   +114

    Oh, my. What a mess.
    If you are going to post nonsense like this, well, technology is wasted in your hands. Better donate your computer to someone who can use it in a productive way.

    By the way, if you want to see a film, a suggestion. Queen Of Katwe.
     
    darkzelda likes this.
  14. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Evangelist Posts: 353   +138

    Me writing nonsense? The only nonsense is this idealist teacher. Thou he makes for good comedy.

    Your country is so poor, you learn IT on a chalkboard.

    He's completely unaware that he strips them of their dignity.
     
  15. dj2017

    dj2017 TS Addict Posts: 131   +114

    I am pretty sure that, if you have lived 200 years ago, you would be criticizing someone who would like to offer freedom to slaves, as someone who tries to misguide them, waste their time and also strips them of their dignity.
     
  16. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Evangelist Posts: 353   +138

    If I had lived 200 years ago I would have told them a joke about Obama, the black man who did more damage to Africa than any white man ever. And we'd all have a great laugh especially the african war lords that have been slavin the lands for an eternity.

    They do not need a western school system. They need some strong and motivated hands that start working. You do not need Windows 98 with Office to build a road or a bridge. Sure if you wanna pull off a golden gate bridge then yes.

    But hey its a free world, I am not stopping you from sending them donations so that they can go make a couple more children and send them to europe so that they can then waste the money of the hard working european.

    Also a big shout out to Hollande, the socialist president of France who was caught traveling incognito on the back of a moped to an illegal nigerian brothel. he helped a lot in making Lybia the place that it is today.
     

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