No computer? No problem!
Such has been the norm for a Ghanaian teacher who gained internet fame after photos of him using nothing a blackboard to teach students Microsoft Word exploded on social media. But all that is about to change.
Richard Appiah Akoto, an information and communication technology (ICT) instructor at Betenase M/A Junior High School in Sekyedomase, has spent years meticulously drawing diagrams of the popular word processing program, leaving many to wonder how he’s managed to explain how computers work — without computers.
“I love my students so have to do what will make them understand what [I] am teaching,” Akoto, who also goes by the name Owura Kwadwo Hottish, wrote in a Facebook post.
According to Quartz Africa, Akoto’s school hasn’t had computers since 2011, despite the fact that his 14- and 15-year-old students are required to pass an ICT exam in order to advance to high school. The veteran teacher said he’s utilized his blackboard on several occasions to ensure his pupils are prepared.
“This is not my first time [of drawing] it,” he told Quartz. “I’ve been doing it anytime I am in the classroom … I like posting pictures on Facebook so I just felt like [sharing it]. I didn’t know it would get the attention of people like that.”
But it did, garnering admiration from folks across the internet who applauded him for his dedication.
Twitter, do your thing. Please connect me with this teacher who, according to an online report, is from #Ghana. He has demonstrated a rare skill that must be celebrated. If you've seen similar teachers breaking tech barriers in public classrooms, share their details too. Thanks! pic.twitter.com/J847UTAyOH
— 'Gbénga Sèsan (@gbengasesan) February 26, 2018
The passion of being a teacher in Ghana -Africa. The teacher simulates on a BLACKBOARD with a CHALK the template of a "Word Document " so to teach IT to his students! Lack of resources can never stop a teacher's creative mind! pic.twitter.com/ff6afSLDfD
— George Kokolas (@GKokolas) February 27, 2018
Meet Owura Kwadwo Hottish @OHottish, the Ghanaian teacher whose drawing of features of a Word Processing Window on the board to teach his students went viral on the internet. Microsoft will be donating computers to the school because of his efforts. ❤️❤️❤️👏👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/K85bzmKNGF
— Everything Ghana (@EverydayGhana) February 28, 2018
The photos of Akoto, 33, teaching were also enough for entrepreneur Rebecca Enonchong to tweet to Microsoft Africa, highlighting how far the teacher was willing to go to educate his students on the company’s software.
“Surely you can get him some proper resources,” she tweeted on Sunday.
By Tuesday, the software giant had vowed to send Akoto a computer, as well as access to its “MCE program & free professional development resources.”
Supporting teachers to enable digital transformation in education is at the core of what we do. We will equip Owura Kwadwo with a device from one of our partners, and access to our MCE program & free professional development resources on https://t.co/dJ6loRUOdg
— Microsoft Africa (@MicrosoftAfrica) February 27, 2018
Akoto said his school still needs around 50 computers for his classes, but one PC is at least a start.