Strategies for Achieving ICT Literacy & Proficiency in the Rural Primary and Secondary Schools in Ghana
In order to be productive members of African society, as well as responsible world citizens, the continent's next generation of leaders requires a full suite of knowledge and skills to compete in national, international, and global markets. The core of this knowledge base rests in the STEM and STEAM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). The technology component - through ICT (Internet Computing Technology) - fosters research, discovery, communication, collaboration, and idea exchange among the other disciplines. It enables individuals to conduct business globally; and on local and national levels, leveraging myriad aspects of socio-economic and cultural prosperity. ICT literacy is mandated for all primary and secondary school students both by the African Deans Education Forum (``ADEF'') and UNESCO's EFA (Education for All) goals for the African diaspora, as well as by the local Ministries of Education; however, resources and funding are limited with larger funding appropriations allocated to urban areas with pre-existing infrastructure. Thus, schools in rural, underserved communities present special situations relative to meeting the mandate due to insufficient or non-existent infrastructure, access, and training that requires ancillary initiatives over and above those currently provided in order to insure educational equality with their urban counterparts. This paper presents a synthesis of the issues and indicators systems causing the disenfranchisement in rural and underserved communities of Ghana in ICT deployment and usage. Consequently, the authors developed a framework of strategies to address and correct the issue of disenfranchisement in ICT literacy and proficiency in Ghana's rural primary and secondary schools.