Can computer science be taught without even a PC? Surely it is difficult, but not impossible. The proof comes from Ghana, where a 33 year old teacher teaches the use of PCs to his students. His story has become known throughout the world after the publication on Facebook of images depicting the prof in action.
How do you teach without a pc? Simple. Prof. Akoto reproduced a classic computer screen on the blackboard, explaining the basic functions of Windows with colored chalk.
„Teaching computer science in Ghana is a lot of fun – the teacher wrote in the post that became viral on social networks – I love my students, I made these drawings to make them understand what I’m teaching“.
The post was appreciated by users all over the world, who helped to report the story to Microsoft.
Without resources, but with motivation. Without a computer, but with enough will to teach computer science to his students with chalk, blackboard and so much energy. The image of this Ghanaian professor who designs the Word interface in his class has become viral, inviting us to reflect on the fact that sometimes, to change the world (or improve it), we only need the right attitude and will.
The protagonist of this story is Owura Kwadwo, a Ghanaian professor of information and communication technologies (ICT) who teaches in a small school in Kumasi. A rural environment, with few educational resources and no Internet connection. However, and although it is paradoxical, within the school curriculum children are expected to acquire basic computer skills.
Because even if the conditions are not optimal, with his attitude the human being can overcome any obstacle and above all can also inspire others so that they do not see the shortcomings, that they are only aware of the possibilities.
That’s what Professor Kwadwo can do every day with his students. All his students feel motivated, because they know that new technologies will serve for the progress of their country and that when the time comes, when they will finally have a computer in their hands, they will surely know how to use it thanks to the will of this Ghanaian professor.
The ease with which the images travel around the world in minutes is amazing. A few months ago we were excited about the story of Wang Fuman, an 8-year-old boy from a Chinese region who walks about 4.5 km every day to get from home to school. The temperature in January is around 10 degrees below zero, and one morning Wang arrived in the classroom with frozen hair and eyebrows and swollen cheeks.
His companions welcomed him laughing, while his teacher decided to take a picture to share a reality that for many of us is distant and unknown. The same thing happens in this small class in a village in Ghana. Here the protagonist is not the cold, but the irony, the story of a computer teacher without a computer and some students who have to acquire computer skills because every year they are required to pass an exam to demonstrate their skills in this subject.
We could talk about the already known differences between the first world and the third world; however, before moving on to these reflections on which we are all agreed, let us dwell on the protagonists of the story. In the small stories that have a proper name. Owura Kwadwo teaches the operation of a program to which it has no access. However, this does not prevent students from becoming familiar with the image of a basic IT resource.