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A delegation from the Gambian Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) led by their Permanent Secretary, Mr. Baboucarr Bouy, was in Ghana from the 21st to 30th of January 2016 to study OLE Ghana’s Open Learning System with particular reference to the Ghana Reads program and the BeLL system. The Gambia has for the past two years been thinking of integrating ICT into its education delivery at the pre-tertiary level and was looking for that final push to do so.

During a round of technical discussions held at the Maeglant Hotel between the MoBSE team and the OLE Ghana team led by its Executive Director, Mr. Kofi Essien, the two shared ICT in Education practices in the two countries both from the policy and practical perspective. Officials from Open Learning Exchange Ghana took the visitors from Gambia through the development of OLE Ghana’s Open Learning System and its culmination in its flagship project, Ghana Reads. There were special request to explain the Ghana BeLL system which involves the use of low cost technology such as the Raspberry Pi and also for OLE Ghana to explain its content creation and curation processes. The OLE Ghana officials also shared with the MoBSE team from Gambia challenges encountered as well as lessons learnt.

As part of the study visit the MoBSE team joined by the Permanent Secretary went on a school visit to Sacred Heart RC – Afuaman in the Ga West Municipality. The Gambian team had the opportunity to experience at first-hand what had been discussed during the technical meetings. They witnessed a P1 class that involved the use of projector, laptop and speakers. They also witnessed a P4 class doing a listening and speaking lesson with audio resources played over speakers with the help of a laptop. Lastly they witnessed P6 working on a video book on the tablet using multi-tasking pedagogy. They also interacted with the headmaster, coach and the lead teacher in the school as well as officials from the Ga-West Municipal Education office who explained how the innovation has benefited education in the municipality.

The team from Gambia was very impressed with what they saw and heard. According to the Permanent Secretary this was all the evidence they needed to be convinced to procceed with their integration of ICT in their pre-tertiary education delivery system. They requested support from OLE Ghana as they begin their ICT integration journey. The Permanent Secretary extended an invitation to the OLE Ghana Team to visit The Gambia for further talks on possible collaborations.
While in the country the MoBSE team also visited World Reader.

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With the official signing of the Sub-consultancy Services contract between Mott Macdonald Limited (trading as Cambridge Education) and Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Ghana, OLE Ghana has an increased opportunity to contribute its expertise to the shaping of the future teacher force in Ghana. OLE Ghana considers teacher formation as being very critical and the ‘correct’ formation procedures and processes as a sure answer to the many educational challenges confronting Ghana and is therefore glad for this unique opportunity.

Key among services to be rendered by OLE Ghana under this Sub-Consultancy service is to develop a TEL-BeLL based on the OLE Ghana BELL. The TEL-BELL will ensure adequate facilities for the delivery of the resources needed for the T-TEL programme (including text-based materials as well as multi-media, such as video), including basic systems monitoring to all the 38 colleges of education in the country.

Other services to be rendered include. Providing ongoing Infrastructure support in the form of advice to colleges to support their existing ICT infrastructure (e.g. advice on repairing LAN, server management, ISP selection), Monitoring and Evaluation system and providing advice on the provision of hardware and software (Android tablets) to colleges, including tablets for tutors, tablets for use in class, and a “rent to own” scheme could be investigated (tablets and laptops).

The Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) project is a DFID sponsored Government for Ghana project. It is the third output of DFID’s Girls- Participatory Approaches for Students Success (G-PASS) Programme which supports the achievement of improves retention, completion and attainment rates, particularly for girls and better quality teaching and learning in Ghana.

T-TEL working with key stakeholders in the country’s teacher education system will focus on a cohort of 9, 000 trainee teachers across the 38 colleges of education in the country supporting principals and tutors to strengthen trainee teacher acquisition of subject content (especially in English, Math and Science) and their abilities to teach effectively to meet the varied learning needs of school children.

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In response to an invitation by the Ga-West Municipal Education Directorate, Open Learning Exchange Ghana on the 17th of August 2015 organised a one-day workshop to train Circuit Supervisors and Subject Coordinators in the Ga-West Education office to be able to monitor the Ghana Reads programme which had been handed over to the Municipality earlier this year.

The director of Open Learning Exchange Ghana who facilitated the workshop led a discussion on situational analysis, (needs and gap analysis) and SWOT analysis. Some coaches on the Ghana Reads programme who are also circuit supervisors in the municipality also shared their coaching experiences and to discuss how coaching is an effective tool for supervision and also how the Ghana Reads approach can help circuit supervisors manage learning, especially literacy in their circuits.

Participants then had a practical session where they practiced the earlier discussions. Hence participants were tasked to do a gap analysis, a needs assessment, a SWOT analysis and come up with a PMOP, indicating how they were going to innovatively meet the gaps indicated. Present at the workshop were circuit supervisors, who are also coaches for the Ghana Reads programme and subject coordinators from the Ga-West Municipality. Open Learning Exchange Ghana was pleased at the level of commitment exhibited by the participants and hopes the workshop would help manage the Ghana Reads programme in the Municipality.

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Teachers on the Ghana Reads Programme in Fanteakwa on the 31st of July 2015 benefited from a one-day boot camp on literacy organized by OLE Ghana with support from World Vision Ghana, Fanteakwa ADP. The camp was held at Busosu Presbyterian school. It started with a general assembly of all participants at exactly 9.15 am.

The Opening Prayer at the assembly was said by the host head. In his opening remarks, the Director of OLE Ghana indicated that from the coaches’ reports OLE realizes the potential of the four schools to be huge success stories. OLE therefore decided to organized the boot camp to give the four schools ‘one big push’ so that they can get virtually all pupils in their schools reading.

The camp was conducted by a team of twelve facilitators from the OLE Ghana office in Accra. There were three sessions for the camp. Participants were divided into smaller groups for each session and had facilitators handling each group simultaneously. For each session the groups rotated among the facilitators after every 45 minutes. Topics treated ranged from counseling to reading steps, and a number of strategies for teaching literacy and as such reading. The teachers were also taken through the technology aspect of the Ghana Reads Programme.

In all 30 participants made up of heads and teachers from all four schools on the Ghana Reads programme in the ADP were present at the one day boot camp. Also present were officials from the local education directorate. There was actually a visit by the acting District Director of Education for Fanteakwa during the camp.
In closing the one day camp at 4.00pm, the Director of Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Ghana expressed satisfaction at cooperation of participants. He expressed the hope that when school reopened in September the fruits of the boot camp will be visible for all to see. He also thanked the ADP for the support provided in organizing the camp.

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To mark the end of the Ghana Reads pilot programme in Ga-West, OLE Ghana has at a small ceremony handed over the Ghana Reads Programme to the Ga-West Municipality. This was done to not only mark the end of the two-year pilot but to also ensure that the Ga-West Municipal office and education directorate as well as the schools take over the running, sustainability and expansion of the programme in the municipality.

Present at the handing over ceremony was the Ga-West Municipal Chief Executive, Hon.Samuel Attuquaye Quaye, The Ga-West Educational Director, Mr. Budu Asiedu, OLE Ghana Board Chairman, Prof. Jufus Anamoah-Mensah, Officials from NCRIBE and officials from the office of the Ga-West Education Directorate.

The Ga-West municipal office and Education directorate were each given a certificate to show that the programme took place in the municipality. The coaches were also each given a certificate to show appreciation for their help during the pilot phase of the Ghana reads programme as well as the schools which benefited from the progamme. The Ga-West Municipality were charged to take responsibility for the programme and ensure its sustainability and expansion. OLE Ghana promises to continue to give support to the schools even though technically the pilot phase of the programme has ended.


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