You may have heard of Richard Appiah Akoto, the teacher from Ghana who recently went viral for his admirable dedication to his work. Akoto, who didn’t have a computer to use for teaching, drew Microsoft Word in incredible detail on the classroom blackboard to demonstrate the program’s different features and functions.
Amazed by his resourcefulness and love for teaching, individuals and organizations are donating laptops and desktop computers to the school where he teaches, the Betenase M/A Junior High School in the southern Ghana town of Sekyedumase. The teacher‘s hard work and the unexpected media attention have been returning positive outcomes.
Microsoft, in particular, flew Akoto to Singapore to attend the annual Microsoft Educators Exchange.
The company also promised to equip Akoto with a device from a business partner, as well as give him access to the Microsoft Certified Educator Program (MCE) for professional development.
Flying to Singapore was Akoto’s first time outside Ghana. At the conference, he talked about their dilemma back home. He was quoted in the event as saying:
“I wanted to teach them how to launch Microsoft Word. But I had no computer to show them. I had to do my best. So, I decided to draw what the screen looks like on the blackboard with chalk.”
“I have been doing this every time the lesson I’m teaching demands it. I’ve drawn monitors, system units, keyboards, a mouse, a formatting toolbar, a drawing toolbar, and so on. The students were okay with that. They are used to me doing everything on the board for them.”
A Saudi benefactor at University of Leeds in the UK also sent Akoto a laptop after seeing his viral post.
Amirah Alharthi, a PhD student in Leeds’ department of statistics, told CNN:
“I always understand from the teachings of Islam that useful knowledge is crucial for the benefit of the self and humanity. 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, sent five desktop computers to the school.
They also sent books and a laptop for Akoto. NIIT’s center manager, Ashish Kumar, told CNN:
“We were so touched by the teacher’s dedication for his students that we decided to support the school with the best we can do. We took (a) printout of the news, pasted on our notice board and shared it with our CEO, Kapil Gupta.”
Akoto has been posting updates on Facebook. He has also been expressing his immense gratitude to all the people and organizations that have been helping their school and students.
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