The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in collaboration with stFoundation), have launched a digital skills training programme for visually impaired teachers in Ghana.
The programme, which is part of the Digital Transformation Centres (DTC) project, aims to equip the teachers with the knowledge and skills to train other visually impaired persons in their communities on how to use computers and the internet.
The project, called “Introduction to Computer Basics for the Visually Impaired (ICBVI)”, aims to teach both sighted and visually-impaired teachers how to train visually impaired students in the basic skills of using a PC. The project’s Training of Trainers started with a short Opening Ceremony at the University of Ghana’s Department of Assistive Technology, where 20 trainers are undergoing training from 13th to 24th November, 2023.
The Administrator of GIFEC, Mr. Prince Sefah, thanked the partners of the DTC Project for expanding the project’s partnership and scope to offer digital skills to visually-impaired people nationwide during the ceremony.
He added that the DTC has trained more than 14,000 citizens and expects to train around 3,000 more by the end of the year. By early 2024, the project would have benefited 20,000 citizens, with 30% of them being from marginalised groups.
According to Mr. Sefah, “GIFEC is committed to ensuring the use of the Fund’s resources to provide access and enhance the capacity of citizens in underserved and unserved communities, including persons with disability.” He added that GIFEC has over the years provided laptops to special needs students at the University of Cape Coast and the Wesley College of Education, as well as equipped the ICT lab of the Akropong School for the Blind, and articulated plans to update ICT resources at the Department of Assistive Technology of the University of Ghana. Mr. Sefah mentioned that GIFEC has adopted the DTC’s Coding for Kids training project and is extending it to cover more communities in the country.
The desire of the DTC Partners and stFoundation to increase their efforts to provide digital skills to marginalised and underserved communities in all 16 regions of the country was reiterated by Robyn Fysh, the Senior Project Manager from the ITU. She was excited to have courses and expertise to equip instructors with skills and knowledge for training at their Community ICT Centres and communities.
She hoped that the trainers and facilitators would acquire skills to deliver quality learning experiences and outcomes to visually-impaired people in their communities. She also wished the participants a productive learning experience.
Mr. Alexander Bankole Williams, Head of the Department of Assistive Technology of the University of Ghana, remarked, “we are delighted that this is one of the greatest efforts coming across Ghana that seeks to actually posit the availability of digital knowledge in the hands of blind and partially-sighted persons in our local communities.”
The goal of the Training of Trainers is to equip participants with the requisite knowledge and skills to facilitate the training of more persons with Visual Impairments across the country from 2024. 50 more trainers will be trained by January 2024.