The Local NGO, EDSAM, I’m working with in Ho is not only involved in implementing the Ghana WASH project, but also providing microcredit to small businesses. For the past four years they have been operating in Ho, but are currently expanding their microcredit operations to northern Volta. As a result, the new staff from northern Volta traveled down to Ho for basic computer training that I volunteered to conduct.
The topics of the class included:
- Computer Theory
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft PowerPoint
The participants all graduated high school within the past couple of years. During school they all took computer courses, but because they did not have access to a lab all of their learning was theoretical. As you might imagine, it is difficult to learn to use a computer with a blackboard and chalk. Fortunately, the director for EDSAM is involved with a very nice computer lab (considering we are in Africa) in Ho that we were able to use for the week, so we got a lot practical work in.
The course didn’t go without it’s challenges though. For most of the days we had to share the lab with another class – alternating times when we could use the lab. One day the teacher for the other class didn’t show up, so the students for the other class attended my class. This slowed down our progress a bit as the two sets of students had different skill levels. Also, on the last day of the training, someone forgot to pay the power bill, so the lab was without power for half the day. Apparently in Ghana power-bills are prepaid. So you purchase electricity from the power company before you use it.
Overall, the students seemed pleased with the training. There is a computer lab at the high school in my community, so I think I can use the same lesson plan to teach there as well. On top of this I am also doing some more advanced computer training to my NGO colleagues that are based in Ho.