A Ghanaian teacher, whose social media post went viral after people saw he was teaching IT classes without a computer, has arrived Singapore to attend Microsoft’s Education Exchange 2018.
33-year-old Richard Appiah Akoto is an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) teacher at the Betenase M/A Junior High School in Sekyedomase, who has been drawing the entire Microsoft Word interface in chalk to teach young pupils. The ICT teacher arrived in Singapore to attend the Microsoft Education Exchange 2018 according to a message by Microsoft Africa in a Twitter message on Tuesday.
The Microsoft Education Exchange (E2) event has been in existence for more than a decade and aims to celebrate amazing educators and provide them with the opportunity to collaborate with each other.
Educators selected by Microsoft to attend the programme are credited with sparking creativity and curiosity in their students, by embracing modern teaching and learning, innovative curriculum, and by providing immersive experiences with technology.
The company first took note of Akoto, who also goes by Owura Kwadwo Hottish, after his February 15 post, in which he said teaching IT was “very funny” in Ghana and as a committed teacher, he does what he has to do to make students understand their lessons—which went viral after he posted them on Facebook.
The teacher told CNN the teachings are to help students prepare for a national exam which includes a section on information and communication technology. “I wanted them to know or see how the window will appear if they were to be behind a computer,” “Always wanted them to have interest in the subject so I always do my possible best for them.”
And this was not the first time he had illustrated the technology on the board.
“I have been doing this every time the lesson I’m teaching demands it,” he said. “I’ve drawn monitors, system units, keyboards, mouse, formatting toolbar, drawing toolbar, save as dialogue box and so on.”
His post came to the notice of Microsoft Africa who promised to equip him with a device and access to the MCE program and free professional development resources.
Microsoft Africa also said they would ensure access to educator programs and free professional development resources for the school, which is located in a north-central Ashanti region of the West African country more than 300 kilometers from Accra.
Other offers to help have poured in, including a donation of five new desktop computers, three instruction books and a personal laptop for Akoto himself. They came courtesy of NIIT Ghana, an IT training company.
While Akoto has been described as an inspiration, the series of events is a result of under-resourced public school systems across the continent as many rural schools like Betenase, struggle with infrastructure and teaching logistics challenges.
This year’s Microsoft Education Exchange (E2) event is being held in Singapore, from March 13 through March 15, 2018. Singapore was chosen as host country because of its highly regarded education system, quoted to be “the world’s best education system,” according to an OECD-led study. Akoto was pretty excited too. “Looking forward to learning something new,” he said on his Facebook after arriving. He’s joined there by educators from 91 countries.
The host coutry is rated first in math and science and has one of the highest literacy rates in the world. E2 2018 will be hosted in Singapore with the support of local and international governments.