At least both administrations are thoughtful about digital literacy and its relevance to our educational development. Computers have become a key resource in today's educational need yet a scarce one in developing countries as Ghana.
The journey began with a dedicated program of the Better Ghana Agenda under President John Dramani Mahama. RLG Technologies was contracted to supply mini laptops for teachers and students at the tertiary level. The news in 2013 was welcomed with excitement until users began spotting some technical defects with the devices.
It even became the most smuggled government asset when the program failed. In markets such as Kumasi, and Accra, one could easily purchase the RLG laptops at cheap prices. Some even had the stickers of the branded Mahama picture and the national colours.
The lessons from that program remain valuable today as the Akufo Addo government has launched the One Teacher One Laptop program. This program draws on the same concept as the Better Ghana Agenda during Mahama's administration but with an enhanced mechanism to ensure efficient use and impact.
But let's draw more on the value of the two devices; Mahama's RLG Laptops, and the TM1 laptops that are being supplied to teachers under President Akufo-Addo.
The RLG laptops were locally assembled, and it came with a 1 gigabyte RAM, 150 gigabyte ROM, and other basic functionalities such as WiFi. The battery was a major issue and the processing power was poor, causing the Windows operating system to brick at the slightest overload of running applications.
Funny enough, some users complained the laptop generated so much heat that it cannot be placed on the lap for even 15 minutes. It was a hazard in itself.
In the case of TM1 laptops, the specifications are; 4 gigabyte RAM, 500 gigabyte ROM, with some good processing power and a 14 inch display screen. It also runs on the latest windows 10 operating system.
With such features, teachers can run basic tools and applications without any glitch. The durability of it will be a testimony from users as the program unfolds.
So far, a total of three hundred and fifty thousand (350,000) pieces of these laptops have been handed over to the Ghana Education Service for onward distribution to teachers. These laptops are preloaded with educational materials and free access to e-library services.
The materials according to the Vice President, Dr. Bawumia who launched the program have both online and offline accessibilities.