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Microsoft comes to the rescue of Ghana’s ‘blackboard ICT teacher’

Microsoft has come to the aid of  Betnase M/A Junior High School after its ICT teacher Richard Appiah Akoto taught students how to use a computer with a blackboard.

The tech giant  has announced it will donate “device and software support” to Akoto and also help the school with the proper equipment.

It had pledged to equip Akoto with a device from a business partner as well as access to the Microsoft Certified Educator Program (MCE) for professional development.

Akoto was flown to Singapore by Microsoft to attend the annual Microsoft Educators Exchange, as part of the tech giant’s promise to offer him free training.

He was given a standing ovation when he appeared on stage at the Education Exchange conference in Singapore.

Betenase M/A Junior High School hasn’t had a computer since 2011, and Akoto’s students need to pass a national exam that includes questions on information and communication technology (ICT).

In a press release, Microsoft announced that it would be helping Akoto through a local partner in Ghana to be able to provide device and software support so his students at Betenase Municipal Assembly Junior High School wouldn’t be without the proper equipment again. It also announced that Akoto will also gain access to the Microsoft Certified Education Program.

The Vice President for Worldwide Education at Microsoft, Anthony Salcito, praised Richard Akoto for overcoming major obstacles to help his students.

“Your work has really inspired the world. It really shows the amazing innovation and commitment and passion that teachers have for helping their students get ready for the future,” he said.

Microsoft aren’t the only ones who came to the aid of Akoto and his students. Since going viral, Akoto’s school has also received multiple donations of computers for his students.

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After reading the Facebook post that made Akoto famous, a Saudi benefactor at University of Leeds in the UK sent him a laptop “as a small gift to his students.”

“I always understand from the teachings of Islam that useful knowledge is crucial for the benefit of the self and humanity,” Amirah Alharthi, a PhD student in Leeds’ department of statistics, told CNN.

“Also, I am thinking of how much genius people the world has already lost because these people did not have the fair opportunities comparing to others and that makes me very sad.”

NIIT Ghana, a computer training school based in Accra, donated five desktop computers to the school, along with books and a laptop for Akoto.

The 2018 Microsoft Educators Exchange  brought together over 400 educators and school leaders from 91 countries to discuss the role of technology in education.

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