The Ghanaian ICT teacher who, in the absence of a computer, drew the Microsoft Word interface on a blackboard to teach his students says he is not perturbed after being overlooked by organisers of this year’s Ghana Teacher Prize.
According to the teacher – Richard Akoto Appiah, he applied for the awards and was interviewed at the District level and although he did not make the final list, he still perceives himself as Ghana’s Teacher of the Year because of the impact he has had on his community.
“To me, this year I think I am the best teacher,” an excited Mr Appiah told Graphic Online in an interview.
He said his post about his teaching methods for ICT on social media had released an avalanche of blessings on his career as well as his entire community.
He said: “I have been able to get two laboratories for the town which I think most of the MPs have not even done for their constituencies, so I am okay”.
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Mr Appiah believes he was overlooked because educational, as well as governmental authorities, were not pleased with the attention his harmless post gathered.
“That’s Ghana for you, you know how the system works, I wasn’t surprised at all. When this issue came up, did you hear the Minister [the Education Minister] talking about it, did you hear the government talking about this?”.
He also revealed that the Education authorities in the Sekyedumase District asked him to write a report on the incident in the aftermath of the post going viral.
“At that time, our Director had gone on pension, so there was a woman at Mampong that was acting at our place and they asked me to write a report, that, that is the orders that she has also received.”
Appiah became a social media sensation after pictures of him drawing a diagram of Microsoft Word for his pupils went viral in February 2018.
The post resulted in him receiving support from Microsoft Africa as well as other technology firms and NGOs.
Ultimately, Appiah’s post landed him a trip to Singapore to attend the Microsoft Education Exchange 2018 where he received a standing ovation from his peers from around the world.
He also received some devices and software support for his students at the Betenase Municipal Assembly Junior High School in the town of Sekyedumase.
He was also given access to the Microsoft Certified Educator Program (MCE) for professional development, to nurture his passion for teaching and build rich, custom learning experiences for his students.
Appiah also received a $10,000 Masters in Education scholarship from UNICEF.