Kokrobite Eye Health, Micro Business, and Education

What can be done in Ghana villages

Ghana, XOs and Student Ownership

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30 Mar 2010

Ghana, XOs and Student Ownership a preliminary note. Although I’ve talked to teachers about this I have not been able to visit the one XO trial here in Accra. Should be able to do this week and will immediately comment here on findings.

From what friends have told me about poverty conditions in Ghana I am wondering if student owned XO programs might be unworkable here at this time.because of poverty. A teacher gives a child a pencil, a book, a pair of shoes and the next day they don’t come back with the child.

Is the OLPC XO ownership program be based on occasional wishful thinking?

Because of culture all peoples are are not all alike.

Here in Ghana family members seem to presume that they have a right to take what they can get their hands on from affluent family members and that an he or she has an obligation to share. If he or she has made a little money abroad they may besieged by family petitioners for money and a prodigal son or daughter’s personal property on their return Ghana.

In poor families very young children (e.g. 8 years old) are required to bring money home money before they themselves are fed. Shockingly children are sold as house girls , to do plantation work on remote farms even in other countries and to do dangerous work on fishing boats going into the water to clear nets and that occasionally such child may drown.

I have read in the paper of mother’s profound remorse at having let these things happen.

How in such an environment can school authorities expect student to be able to retain possession of their XOs?

Does poverty actual differ between countries? Is the care of children fundamentally different in Ghana as compared to Nepal or Peru?

I think that we have to explore fall backs for Sugar enabled student collaboration. Student community learning centres.Using school rooms after hours might work. This would also have the advantage of drawing both entire student bodies and the faculty into the action.

I must note that when you visit the boat landing inside the tiny Nyanaano Harbour you will see happy irrepressible children working on boats and nets and hawking fish to house wives and ourselves. Indeed its like my friend says “Yes Ghana Is Still Standing.”

—————————

Practical discussion on XO ownership is not easy to find. On Apr 27, 2008 Dennis N. Raymond wrote in part:

*One-on-one distribution vs. school ownership: *OLPC quickly
> learned a lesson in African. The very concept of one laptop distributed to
> each child goes counter to the cultural traditions within these nations.
> Within poor rural communities individual ownership can contribute to
> jealousy and strife. The entire idea behind OLPC is that the child can take
> the laptop home where the knowledge is shared with the family members. But,
> as in Africa, individual ownership may not play here. OLPC might create
> greater cohesion if the laptops are “owned” by the school system, kept in
> the classroom, and/or lent out to students as requested.
>
Found in http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/olpc-indonesia/2008-April/000007.html

————————-

E Mail Reply:

Thank you! Interesting observations regarding OLPC in the context of children in Ghanaian society.

You are right — for the majority of Ghanaians children are no really valued unless they are used for some productive activity. They are adored as babies but as soon as they are past the cute toddler stage they have to start contributing in some fashion for the common good.

Yes — the OLPC’s should be given to the schools and students have to check them out the way they do library books.

Thanks also for the link to Sugar Labs. I will review it and share with my Achimota colleagues.

george pope

April 3, 2010 at 12:34 am Edit

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Written by george pope

March 30, 2010 at 2:32 pm

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