Varkey Foundation boosts distance learning programmes in Ghana

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Five new studios that will allow the Varkey Foundation to continue to deliver its high quality interactive distance learning programmes in Ghana have opened.

The five studios will be used for the Making Ghanaian Girls Great! (MGCubed)  programme funded by UKaid, which uses interactive distance learning technology to deliver Maths and English lessons daily to girls (and boys) in deprived communities, as well as after school clubs for students; Train for Tomorrow, which uses the same technology to deliver a teacher training programme to schools where staff have had little training; and the Teach to Reach Remote Classrooms Project, where lessons are beamed direct to children living in the Ampain refugee camp.

All these programmes have until now operated via three studios at the Varkey Foundation’s former offices in Cantonments.  With the Foundation moving to new premises in Abelemkpe, it means the number of studios can be increased to five.

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The studios will deliver lessons to approximately 30,000 children in 72 schools under the MGCubed programme and training to teachers in 419 schools – benefiting approximately 90,000 children – under Train for Tomorrow, plus 300 children in the Ampain camp.

The projects are already helping to improve educational outcomes in Ghana.  For example, an independent evaluation of MGCubed conducted by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA showed the model has had a significant impact on increasing literacy and numeracy skills among marginalised girls and boys. In literacy tests, MGCubed students were able to read between 3.21-3.74 more words per minute than those in regular classes; and in numeracy tests MGCubed teaching was found to increase average scores by the equivalent of one school year.

Leonora Dowley, the Varkey Foundation’s Country Director for Ghana, said:

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“We’re delighted to be opening these new studios.  As well as meaning an increased number of studios which are bigger in size than the ones in our previous offices, they’ve also been fitted with the latest technology to help us continue to deliver high quality education and training to children and teachers across the country.” 

Speaking about the benefits of Train for Tomorrow, Ofori Barnes, a teacher from Ofease St. Johns Model School, Akyemansa district, said:

“I can confidently apply all T4T strategies in the classroom and lesson delivery has become less cumbersome with the introduction of T4T strategies and student centred activities.”

Philip Smith, DFID’s Country Director, added:

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“The MGCubed project, which was funded through DFID’s Girls Education Challenge has demonstrated the potential to use technology to improve learning outcomes of girls in rural schools and the expansion of the studios will enable some of the most marginalised girls and boys to be reached through the interactive technology.”



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