The goal of this project is to rebuild a Science and ICT laboratory in a Senior High School (SHS) in the Volta region in order to improve access to educational resources and build the capacity of the students now and in the future. A committee made up of school staff and the Peace Corps volunteer have been responsible for the design of the project and will be responsible for overseeing the entire project implementation. The community will contribute labor, as well as in-kind donations of building materials. This project will assist students to become better prepared for studies in science and ICT. Previously, the school had a particular block with two classrooms, one for a Biology/Chemistry Lab and the other for an ICT lab. This was one of the resources that was drawing students to the school and keeping the students engaged in their studies. The teachers noted that previously, the students were very attentive to these subjects and would frequently come to the lab asking to practice what they were learning in class. That structure suffered a fire outbreak in December, 2016 which damaged all of the computers and most of the science equipment, as well as the building’s structure itself. The school has since seen a decline in students’ interest in their science and ICT studies because there is no opportunity for practical sessions to add up to the theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom. Not only do we wish to bring that excitement back to learning, but the priority is to help the students ultimately pass their terminal exams in these practical subjects and also prepare them for future careers in science and technology. The physics equipment will be donated by a group called iTech. The undamaged material from the chemistry/biology lab will be used to furnish the science lab. The provision of computers is through the Senior High School (SEC) Old Students Association.
In a needs assessment completed with the students of SEC during the 2017-2018 academic year, the rebuilding of the ICT and Science laboratory was the highest expressed need. The students understand the necessity of the practical education in these subjects for their success in school and also in the future. The need was also expressed among teachers at a staff meeting during the same academic year. Out of this, a committee was formed including the ICT teacher, chemistry teacher, assistant headmaster and the Peace Corps volunteer. This committee has taken the responsibility of writing the grant, getting estimates for building costs and writing a letter to be distributed to the community and various organizations soliciting for community contribution. This committee will also be responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the project through its various stages.
The benefits of improved education in science and ICT are intrinsically sustainable as the knowledge and skills gained will stay with the students throughout their academic work and future career. The knowledge gained will also be passed on to future generations, sustaining the benefits. General maintenance of the facility and its equipment will be funded through the school’s annual budget. The school may also rely on the Old Students Association, Parent-Teacher Association and the South District for additional funding when the need arises. Students will always use the lab under the supervision of a teacher who will guide them through the use of the resources in order to reduce the risk of damages.