The first distance-learning program in Ghana, called MGCubed (Making Ghanaian Girls Great,) has been put in place and is being tested throughout the country. The goal of this program is to improve educational attainment, to easily observe and manage the quality of teachers and to help reduce teacher absenteeism, with a focus on educating girls.
Seventy-two primary schools in Ghana are using this distance-learning program based in Accra, the capital city. The activity-based lessons use kid-friendly subjects to teach math and English classes. In the math classes, Spiderman is used to teach addition and subtraction, and in the English classes, students recite songs about skiing to practice verbs. Teachers in the studio in Accra lead the lessons, and each classroom across the country has a facilitator to work with the children and ensure that the class is keeping up with the main instructor.
The distance-learning program was created by Gems Education Solution, a part of Britain’s Department for International Development. It is one of several programs in the Girls’ Education Challenge, an initiative that is trying to help millions of girls around the world get out of poverty through education. The program intends to reach about 8,000 children.
Learning the basics of core subjects is essential to girls’ development. Many girls today do not achieve a basic education due to pregnancy, marriage or the requirement to work at home. By providing these necessary basics of education, Gems is working to keep girls in school in order to give them opportunities later in life.
The past several years of education in Ghana have seen drastically increased enrollment rates countrywide, reaching 87 percent in 2013. However, test scores and other measuring factors have indicated that the quality of education seems to have decreased in the same time period. This distance-learning project intends to set a precedent for how quality can still remain high while enrollment rates increase.
Project director of MGCubed Gordon Carver says, “I think the next 15-20 years for education in sub-Saharan Africa is all about quality and improvement. This model is just one of many different interventions trying to tackle that issue.”
– Hannah Cleveland