Anis Haffar sad ‘analogue’ teachers still practising in ‘digital’ age

Renowned educationist Anis Haffar has urged all and sundry to embrace the opportunities brought in by Covid-19 by extensively latching on to technology in education.

He expressed worry those directly involved in the education of Ghanaian kids are still not up to speed with the demands of the time.

“The sad part is where this is a digital generation and we have analogue teachers in the system,” he bemoaned.

“It is speaking to us. Frankly had it not been for Covid-19, a lot of these issues will still be bearing but now it’s widely open and we really have to live up to the challenges.”

Mr Haffar, who is also a member of the Ghana Education Service (GES) Council, expressed these concerns on Thursday at the National Dialogue on the Framework for Reopening of Schools in Ghana organized by Media General with support from Oxfam and the Foundation for Security and Development Studies (FOSDA).

The forum was to discuss the way forward after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo eased some of the restrictions that came with the fight against coronavirus.

Panelists at the forum had expressed concerns about the challenges with regard to the use of technology in teaching and learning, citing how some students may be left behind as a result of inaccessibility due to the effects of poverty.

But Mr Haffar said all hands must be on deck to make sure that the majority of the learning population is pulled in as this is the new era of teaching and learning.

“We need to now pull in corporate social responsibility. For example, why do we have major stakeholders who are internet savvy like the service providers? They need to come in.

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“We cannot pretend that we don’t have a crisis. We do [but] every corporation should be in a position where they adopt a school to bring in their own best practices in the schools itself.”

He said this is an adaptation in other jurisdictions and it is working perfectly.

“This is where we find ourselves now that everyone should be part of the solution.”

‘Things have changed’

He said gone are the days when teaching was the sole responsibility of teachers in schools.

“Things have changed. If you are a parent now and you are not computer savvy, it’s good to take a course in it.

“We can’t pretend that we don’t know it, everybody can participate at some point someway.”

For him, it must be a gradual process and sooner or later, the whole country will be engulfed in the technology-based system of teaching and learning.

“Even if 10 per cent of parents are doing it, the next year another 10 per cent, this is where we go forward in this.”

He underscored the importance of these concerns and said it is not without recourse to public or private schools as the former even bear promising potentials of excellence contrary to widely held perceptions.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana