Purchasing laptops for SHS students unnecessary – CenPOA

The Centre for Public Opinion and Awareness (CenPOA), a civil society organisation, has kicked against plans by the Government to purchase laptops for Senior High School Students to replace textbooks.

The Organisation said the initiative, although backed by good intentions, ‘is not well thought through, unnecessary, and a complete waste of public resources’.

In a statement issued by Mr Michael Donyina Mensah, Executive Director, CenPOA, the Organisation asked the Government to rather invest in initiatives that would improve teaching and learning, including the elimination of schools under trees.

‘With over 5,000 schools under trees, school feeding and free SHS programmes under severe stress due to financial constraints, we maintain that government’s decision to provide these laptops to SHS students is misguided and an affront to taxpaying Ghanaians, who expect the judicious use of public resources,’ it said.

The Organisation’s position comes on the back of an announcement by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia that the Government would be procuring laptops for SHS students to replace textbooks.

CenPOA said there was no scientific research to prove that the use of electronic books was more effective and would improve learning outcomes than textbooks.

‘On the contrary, health experts have warned that prolonged computer use may cause computer vision syndrome with symptoms such as eye irritation (dry eyes, itchy eyes, red eyes) and blurred vision.

‘Besides, it is very doubtful that students will not be distracted and will use these laptops only for learning. Their ability to protect these devices from damage and theft is also highly questionable,’ the statement said.

The Organisation called on the Minister of Education to halt any plans to distribute laptops to SHS students as announced by the Vice President and rather, channel any such resources to address more critical challenges facing the education sector.

Source: Ghana News Agency