Doctors, scientists, engineers, and other admirable professionals – no matter how far they’ve come, no matter how successful they are – once upon a time, they have been taught by teachers for at least once in their life.
One of the most noble professions is teaching. Teachers instill knowledge, mold skill, and, well, create professionals.
Teachers tirelessly educate, explain, and answer questions, and among these commendable educators is Richard Appiah Akoto from Ghana.
Richard Appiah Akoto, also known as Owura Kwadwo Hottish, teaches Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at Betenase M/A Junior High School in Sekyedomase.
Unfortunately, the school’s only computer and Richard’s personal laptop were both broken. This could’ve been a major problem and could have meant that the students won’t be able to learn about computers, but Richard went above and beyond to make sure that his students wouldn’t be left behind – he drew how the actual Microsoft Word would look like on the chalkboard, complete with colors and all.
Instead of taking pity for the school because of the situation, he did the best he could and posted it on his personal Facebook account:
His post immediately caught the attention of many and quickly went viral. One of the people who noticed his effort was none other than the founder and Chief Executive Officer of AppsTech herself, Rebecca Enonchong. Rebecca then tapped on Microsoft Africa via Twitter, prompting them to help:
And Microsoft Africa rose to the occasion and did not disappoint, they replied:
Microsoft Africa vowed to send some educational assistance to help Richard, his students, and the school.
According to Richard, he was doing this for years – drawing keyboards, monitors, and other computer parts, knowing that it would be the best he can do for the students in the absence of the needed equipment. He said “I do it to make my students understand what I‘m teaching. At least to give a picture of what they will see assuming they were behind a computer.” He added that he wanted his students to understand the lesson before leaving.
Richard’s efforts have inspired so many people all over the world that donations poured in for the school. The University of Leeds sent over a laptop and NIIT have donated several computers, along with boxes of ICT books. A laptop for personal use was also given to Richard.
Just recently, Richard left Ghana to attend the Education Exchange (E2) in Singapore. Education Exchange is a conference where 400 educators as well as school leaders from 91 countries gather to talk about technology’s role in education. Upon appearing on stage, Richard got a standing ovation.
He also earned the praise of the Vice President for Worldwide Education at Microsoft, Anthony Salcito.
For Ghanaian students aged 14-15 years old, it is required to pass the written exam in ICT to be able to go to high school. Last year, only one of Richard’s students got an A. Now, hopefully, things would change – thanks to Richard’s sincere dedication and genuine care for his students.