Ghana teacher who taught computers without computers makes wave

Richard Appiah Akoto taking a selfie at Betenase M-A Junior High School in Sekyedomase town with the students and the gifted laptop. Picture: Facebook

NEW DELHI, March 21, 2018: You don’t need computers to teacher computers! Surprised? A teacher in Ghana, an African country, has created waves by teaching computers without computers.

Richard Appiah Akoto’s teaches at Betenase M-A Junior High School in Sekyedomase town and the school hasn’t had computers since 2011, but that did not stop him from teaching his students on how to use basic computer programme like Microsoft Word.

Images of Akoto, who uses the name Owura Kwadwo Hottish on Facebook, drawing a Microsoft Word window on a blackboard went viral on social media over the past two weeks, media reports said. The photos posted by him on Facebook prompted NIIT Ghana — a subsidiary of the Indian firm — to donate five computers, a laptop and books to his school.

Ashish Kumar, the NIIT centre manager in Accra, the capital of Ghana, said: “We saw the news going viral on Facebook and other social media platforms. We were so deeply touched by the teacher’s dedication to his students and work that we decided to support the school with the best we could do as an IT training organisation.

Richard Appiah Akoto (centre) in Singapore to attend the annual Microsoft Educators Exchange programme. Picture: Facebook

“We took a printout of the post, pasted it on our notice board and discussed the matter with our group chief executive officer (CEO) Kapil Gupta. He decided to sponsor five new desktops and books for the school and a new laptop for the teacher as a part of our social and corporate responsibility,” said Kumar, according to media reports.

On March 12, NIIT business head Yaw Amoateng and senior manager Sanjeev Mishra travelled to Sekyedomase to meet Akoto and his students and donate the computers, said the media reports.

“Everyone at the school was very happy, especially the teacher, Akoto. He assembled everyone and told them about the new computers,” said Kumar.

Richard Appiah Akoto’s draws Microsoft word picture on a blackboard while he teaches at Betenase M-A Junior High School in Sekyedomase town in Ghana. Picture: Facebook

Kumar said the donation was part of NIIT Ghana’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) outreach, said the media reports.

Other donors – both individuals and organisations – have also pitched in with computers and laptops, added the media reports.

Microsoft Africa also took notice of Akoto — he has been flown to Singapore to attend the annual Microsoft Educators Exchange. At Singapore while attending the programme, Akoto thanked Microsoft, saying, “Really appreciate all that you did for me in Singapore. Thanks for your true love and care. God richly bless you.”

Akoto in a Facebook post has thank Rebecca Enonchong for linking his picture to Microsoft Africa. His Facebook post says, “Hi guys help me thank this beautiful woman #RebeccaEnonchong, she is the woman who linked the picture to #MicrosoftAfrica. Becky, I thank you so much and God richly bless you abundantly (sic).”

Rebecca Enonchong in her Facebook post has praised the effort of Akoto saying, “What a beautiful story of this teacher from Ghana, who painstakingly drew Microsoft Word on a blackboard with plain white chalk so that his students could learn technology without a computer. He touched my heart and I tweeted to Microsoft to support. They came through, as did many others throughout the world.

I feel so blessed and honored to be part of such a happy outcome. And the next time someone criticizes social media and tells you it’s a waste of time, tell them about Richard AKA Owura Kwado Hottish”