Free SHS: Gov’t to introduce ‘Digital Classroom’ programmes

The Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Education has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Real Studios Limited, an ICT company to implement the Digital Education System (DES).

The initiative combines hardware, software and digital media to transform the education sector in Ghana from analog to digital, using electronic reading devices backed by internet systems to offer digital books, audiobooks, video tutorials and interactive educational materials.

This is being undertaken in an effort to support the Government of Ghana’s free education policy by providing quality education materials readily accessible to every student in the country, irrespective of their status, geographical location or infrastructural limitations.

According to the CEO of Real Studios, Muni Reindorf, their plan is to build a factory in Ghana to assemble the electronic reading devices and accessories needed to sustain the project after implementation as part of the national industrialization agenda under the 1D1F initiative.

“The factory will use locally sourced materials to build devices designed to withstand the harsh usage requirement of the typical Ghanaian classroom,” he noted.

He added the initiative will bring quality education to the doorsteps of every school, in every district nationwide.

The Digital Education System or Digital Classroom is designed to make education accessible to all Ghanaians from the urban to the very remote rural areas. It aims to provide world-class learning experience to students all over the country through a series of electronic devices and software systems designed from ground up as learning tools that connects teachers, students, schools, publishers & the Education ministry on one platform. It enables students carry and access an entire library of books from nursery to university on a single device that can fit into their pockets. It also provides teachers with the ability to send lectures and notes to students all over the country.

The impact

This initiative is being introduced to further enhance education in the country by addressing the challenges associated with accessing quality education materials and engaging students in extra curricula activities while they are at home. Through the Digital classroom, students can access unlimited education materials and research, it also provides ‘Out of Classroom’ learning using interactive virtual lessons to enable students learn outside the classroom at their own pace and preference. The system expands the limits of the classroom and traditional teaching by enabling teachers create lessons and lectures that can be accessed remotely by thousands of students nationwide, expanding the learning experience beyond the scope of the classroom.

The initiative also introduces localized vocational and industrial training modules to train not just the formally educated but also the informally educated using audiovisual tutorials created in the various local dialects to train the workforce needed for Ghana’s National Industrialization agenda.

Pilot program and national rollout plan

As part of its implementation, a pilot study is to be undertaken in five districts to test the feasibility of the system in a typical Ghanaian classroom before full-scale nationwide implementation. This is to adapt the system’s core technologies, reading devices, web systems and content distribution platforms to the local infrastructure. The pilot test is to demonstrate the system as a non-distracting classroom tool while assessing students and teachers ability to utilize the system effectively. All aimed at identifying and addressing obstacles and evaluating the Socio-economic impact of the Digital classroom to advice its national rollout by the Education Ministry.

The Digital education system is an initiative spearheaded by Real Studios Limited, a wholly owned Ghanaian Information Technology Research and Development company building world class technologies for Africa.