“NDC poised to make Ghana knowledge-based economy
By: David Allan Paintsil, Cape Coast
The Environment, Science and Technology Minister, Sherry Ayittey, has stated categorically, that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, led by President John Evans Atta Mills, was poised to move Ghana from her resource-based economy to what she called “knowledge-based” economy within the shortest possible time.
This, she said, had made the government initiate the free laptop distribution programme among some students across the country to promote the use of ICT for research work, and also to enhance quality education in Ghana.
Speaking at a ceremony to hand over some 423 laptops to students from University of Cape Coast (UCC) and University of Education -Winneba on Friday in Cape Coast, Ms. Ayittey maintained that the free-laptop distribution was being solely financed by the government through the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETfund), in collaboration with rlg Company, to equip students with ICT skills, so as to meet the global demand for culture of excellence on the job market.
She said, so far, 6,000 laptop computers had been distributed among students of second cycle schools and tertiary institutions in the country, while scholarships had been given to a number of students from deprived communities pursuing science in their academic programmes.
She explained further that the government was committed to transforming the economy through provision of quality education, adding that it was against that background the Science Education Policy fair was organised last year.
She noted that the country could not develop without quality education, hence the government’s quest in providing the necessary infrastructure, and inculcate the study of science among the youth.
The minister hinted that her ministry would collaborate with students of the University of Cape Coast who had developed a computer software programme to assist rlg Company make its manufacturing components 100 percent Ghanaian.
She said the Vice Chancellor of the UCC, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, told her that a group of students had developed software, of which her ministry had expressed interest in helping the students to improve it for national use.
She was happy that the students appreciated the government’s initiative of helping them with laptops to promote research and ICT skills among them.
The Deputy Central Regional Minister, Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, urged the students to use the laptops wisely, and not for useless ventures.
He said ICT had become a tool for development in the world, and that it behoved on them to complement the government’s efforts at making Ghana a knowledge-based economy.
He said he had used a rlg laptop for the past two years without any hitch, and urged the students to take good care of the laptops.
Millicent Atukugba, a Communication Director of rlg Company, said the company had a rapid response team to repair any faulty laptops, and if possible, the company would replace malfunctioning ones.
A Level 100 Social Sciences student of the UCC, Amoako Johannicia Afia, said the laptop would help her undertake her project work as an economics, mathematics and sociology student, while Mrs. Agboado Kekeli, a Level 200 student of the University of Education-Winneba (UEW), thanked the government for the kind gesture saying that it would go a long way in promoting her ICT skills as a teacher.
The occasion was witnessed by the Central Regional Co-ordinating Director, Mr. Kwame Oppong, and Douglas Owusu Agyeman, Central Regional rlg Director.
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