Dr. Bawumia Proposes Replacing Textbooks With Laptops: A Promising Yet But Challenging Endeavor – Matey Wisdom, EAI



Dr. Bawumia Proposes Replacing Textbooks With Laptops: A Promising Yet But Challenging Endeavor – Matey Wisdom, EAI

In a recent address, His Excellency Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President of Ghana proposed an ambitious plan to replace textbooks with laptops embedded with past questions and lesson plans in Senior High Schools (SHS). This proposal aims to enhance the quality of education and leverage technology to facilitate learning. However, the feasibility and challenges associated with implementing this policy, including the Ministry of Education’s inability to provide teachers with laptops, require careful consideration and analysis.

The utilization of laptops in classrooms can provide students with interactive and multimedia-rich educational materials, fostering a more engaging and dynamic learning environment. The use of laptops can enable students to engage in interactive simulations that can bring abstract concepts to life. For instance, in a physics class, students can use virtual simulations to understand complex concepts like motion, electricity, or wave propagation. Through hands-on exploration and manipulation of variables, students can observe the effects and deepen their understanding of the underlying principles. It can also offer access to a vast array of educational videos and animations that can supplement classroom instruction.

Laptops can offer students instant access to a comprehensive digital library containing a wide range of textbooks, reference materials, e-books, and educational apps, expanding their learning opportunities beyond the limitations of physical textbooks and empowering students to explore, learn, and expand their knowledge base extensively.

Introducing laptops in SHS will equip students with digital literacy skills, preparing them for the increasingly technology-driven workforce and fostering a generation of technologically proficient individuals. The integration of laptops in SHS will promote technological literacy and future readiness. By preparing students for the technology-driven workforce, laptops will enable them to thrive in a rapidly evolving world and contribute meaningfully to the digital era.

Since laptops play a significant role in education and a smooth sea never make a skillful sailor, Educate Africa Institute (EAI) would like to reiterate that, the office of the vice president should rather find solutions to these issues before Ghanaians would take his idea with the highest seriousness it deserves. Insufficient infrastructure and network connectivity in certain areas of Ghana, particularly rural regions poses challenges when implementing a laptop-based education system because it requires a robust and uninterrupted network infrastructure. Without reliable connectivity, students may face difficulties accessing online resources, collaborating with peers, and engaging in digital learning activities. This limited access to technology further worsens the existing digital divide, creating disparities in educational opportunities between urban and rural areas. Addressing infrastructure and connectivity issues is crucial to ensure equitable access to technology and foster a more inclusive and effective educational system

Procuring and maintaining an adequate number of laptops for every student in the Senior High school (SHS) demands significant financial resources. The costs involved in purchasing, updating, repairing, and securing laptops can put a strain on the already limited education budget. Ensuring that each student has access to a functional and up-to-date laptop requires substantial investment, which may divert funds from other crucial educational needs. Balancing the financial implications of implementing a laptop-based system with the overall budgetary constraints is essential to sustainably integrate technology into SHS classrooms.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised concerns about the poor implementation of the free Senior High School (SHS) policy in Ghana. The IMF highlights the need to address existing implementation gaps in the education sector before considering ambitious policies such as replacing textbooks with laptops. The concerns stem from the challenges associated with laptop deployment, including infrastructure limitations, network connectivity issues, and financial constraints. EAI emphasizes the importance of first addressing these implementation gaps to ensure the effective and efficient execution of any policy so that it won’t be like that of the FSHS. By prioritizing the resolution of existing challenges, Ghana can lay a solid foundation for successful implementation and maximize the potential benefits of integrating technology into education.

The proposal to replace textbooks with laptops in Ghanaian SHS presents several potential benefits and to ensure the success of such policy, it is imperative to address these challenges systematically, ensuring equal access, robust infrastructure, and comprehensive support systems. Balancing innovation with the practicality of implementation will be crucial in leveraging technology for a transformative and inclusive educational experience in Ghana.

EAI wish to call on the vice president to rather put the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service, and the teacher unions on their toes to fast-track the delivery of the one-teacher-one laptop initiative for which the affected teachers have paid and denied same.

Matey Wisdom
Deputy Director,
Educate Africa Institute
+233 24 760 7473


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