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Fourty hearing impaired students have graduated with certificate in Coding and Web development courtesy of a productive partnership between MTN Ghana Foundation and the Soronko Academy. The graduates are students from the Ashaiman based States School for the death also called Tetteh Ocloo School for the Death.
At a brief ceremony on Monday to present the certificates to the graduants, the students demonstrated much excitement at the new skills they have acquired in Information Communications Technology (ICT), among others.
Soronko Academy organized and facilitated the training while MTN Ghana Foundation provided the necessary funding to make the project a success. The day also coincided with this year’s World Disability Day which fell on Monday December 3.
The primary objective of the partnership is to encourage students with hearing impairment to participate in coding and computer programming in areas such as “introduction to problem solving ànd critical thinking in our human centered design; brush up on computer basics; start and keep a blog of their experience, interest and feedback; and hands on development of web applications”.
It is also to teach the participants how to harness the opportunities from social media; teach them how to tell their stories through blogs and videos; teach them how to monitize on their apps and ideas with ecommerce; and build a network among the participants.
The Acting Corporate Services Executive in charge of the MTN Ghana Foundation, Georgina Asare Fiagbenu, said by committing resources to support students of the institution, the Foundatiin is living its dream of impacting Ghanaians in the areas of education, health and economic empowerment.
“Indeed, this project is of great importance to us at MTN because it seeks to empower persons with disability. Aside that, today’s activity happens to be one of the events marking the Foundation’s 10th Anniversar,” she stated.
She was hopeful that the outcome of the project will see an increase in the number of hearing impaired students actively involved in the development of programs and Applications.
“It is our fervent hope that students who undertook this programme will be fully equiped with skills that will facilitate their future employment opportunities. This we hope will help reduce the unemplyment rate among persons living with disabilityand also enhance their economic lovelihood. Once this is done, all of these beneficiaries will be able to contribute tneir quota to the development of the country,” Asare Fiagbenu stated.
The Founder and Director of Soronko Academy, Regina Hornu, was grateful to MTN for coming in handy to take up the entire cost of the project.
“We are very happy to be able to work with them because we wanted to connect the unconnected and teach coding to the disabled. So we started this program with the school for the deaf and we want to demonstrate that anybody can learn and nobody should be left behind in these days of technological revolution. So it is good that these deaf children having new skills which is relevant in the digital world so they can easily get jobs or easily start their own business.
“First thing we taught them was web development which is basic html. We taught them how to create a website so they build an online student portal for the school which is going to be like their voice to the world so that people can know about them. You know most people are uninformed about what happens to deaf children and since they can’t really speak, the website will be their voice,” she stated.
One of the participants, Esther Patterson, told ghananewsonline.com.gh, that she has always dreamt of venturing into the ICT World but she doesn’t know how, especially because of her disability.
“After going through this basic training I know there is hope for me. I wont let it end here. I am ready to continue by building on this,” she stated.
Since its inception in 2007, the MTN Ghana Foundation has invested over $13 million into impacting and life brightening projects across Ghana, directly impacting over four million Ghanaians with some 142 projects in the areas of education, health and economic empowerment across the ten regions.
Soronko Academy is the first holding and human centered design school in West Africa. It provides education for children between the ages of five and 18 to enable them code, build websites, develop mobile applications, software applications, and also teach them human centered designs which has to do with critical thinking and problem solving. It also about giving young kids the tools to create technology and not just to consume it.
So far the Academy has trained about 4500 students across the ten regions of Ghana.
Source: Jeorge Wilson Kingson || ghananewsonline.com.gh