iTeens

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iTeens: Promoting Information Technology Among Teens in Senior and Junior High School

Kumasi, GhanaCape Coast, Ghana
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

iTeens is aiming at creating or reviving computer clubs in Ghanaian high schools to engage students in Information technology. Students will be able to pursue future courses in Information Technology, build apps to solve societal problems, enhance their education and get a career out of it.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if senior and junior high school students can start a business and develop apps to solve societal problems?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

High Schools in Ghana do not have adequate ICT (Information Communication Technology) facilities. This hinders the students in gaining ICT skills required in the modern world. Most schools don't have computer clubs and those who do have run out of ideas on what to do and as such have become inactive. Most students have become uninterested in learning ICT and hence there is an increase in digital illiteracy in Ghana.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

A computer club is going to be formed or revived by students with Information technology interest. iTeens is targeting 15–20 students to help them learn and improve on their ICT (Information Communication and Technology) skills. Most of the training is going to be done in the various school’s ICT centers with a mentor to help. They should be able to build apps to solve societal problems, enhance their education and get a career out of it. Special attention will be given to girls since they are the minority in the ICT field in order to encourage them to join the club and pursue a career in ICT. The training is also going to help students build a good online reputation. After the training, certificates is will be awarded to participants.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A computer club is going to be formed/revived by students with Information technology(IT) interest. They will build apps to solve societal problems, enhance their education and get a career out if it. I believe computer clubs in high schools will help the club members reach more students in the school and help them in their digital problems. An experience I had at St. Augustine's College was when students were trained on how to use google maps, map maker and my tracks to navigate and map their school. The students were full of joy and went on to map their localities. Now, many of them use the map to navigate their way through to their destination. What if all senior high students can do the same and build apps to integrate maps?

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Based on the research I did revealed that in the year 2007, 12.30% of Ghanaians use the internet and to talk about ICT skills, thus, compared to developed countries this is a smaller percentage of people online. But due to the emergence of social apps in 2010 like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, etc. the percentage of internet usage shot up to about 40% among Ghanaians and many people have some skills in ICT to do something. In the year 2014, when I started the project I was able to reach 400 high school students and they learnt a lot concerning google products. Study materials were given to the tutors to continue with the training. Many of my students are doing great things in the tertiary and helping in other community projects. More map maker edits were added to Google maps, google emails accounts created and google search in-depth is helping them in their academic research.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The next 5 years, iTeens estimate to reach 50 senior high schools with good knowledge of using information technology to enhance their academic experience and get a career out of it. iTeens seek to create or revive computer clubs in high schools and sustain it. We want most senior high schools to have computer clubs which should be up and running to help prepare students after senior high. Students should be interested in pursuing Information Technology in the tertiary level. More youth should be able to builds apps to support societal developments and also start a career out of it.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

iTeens are willing to partner agencies (like Ashoka), NGOs (like Soronko Solutions, Ghana Think foundation, etc) and institutions for the training and study materials. Funds will be generated through crowd funding sites (such as indiegogo, gofundme, etc). Financial motivation will come from small support from students as appreciation to the training and the certificate presented. Community fundraising will be organised to generate funds.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are two active projects that is Tech needs girls and Tech Support Ghana. Tech needs girls aim at mentoring girls to lead and innovate through learning to code and Tech Support Ghana uses ICT tools to improve knowledge base ICT for youth in the Northern region. However, the root cause of the problem starts from the high schools. No computer clubs are created and managed to help students in high schools to learn skills and build interest in information technology. Tech needs girls target groups is ladies and Tech Support Ghana target some youth at Northern region in Ghana.
Team

Founding Story

I started this project when I became the Google Student Ambassador for University of Cape Coast. I felt that not only tertiary students should enjoy this privilege of learning how to use Google technologies for their academic work but high school students could benefit from it. In high school I had no one to help me learn ICT(Information and Communication Technology ) so I lost interest in it and got interested later. I formed a team to help me trained the computer club students of high schools. I interned as an ICT tutor in one of the high schools and used that position to train students on Google Products to enhance their learning and provided some training materials for the tutors to use.

Team

iTeens project started in 2014 during the Google Student Ambassador Program at University of Cape Coast. Benjamin Dadson is the founder of iTeens and he is supported by Edward Afful and Crystal Dzebu. Our sole responsibility is help computer clubs in high schools with information and skills acquisition. Benjamin and Edward are final year students of University of Cape Coast studying BSc Computer Science. Crystal is a Computer Science graduate from University of Cape Coast. We faced a lot of problems in information technology during high schools days and we are passionate to help other students out of those problems.
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