You may not have known his name before his simple act but Ghanaian teacher Richard Appiah Akoto’s drawing of Microsoft Word on a chalkboard made him go viral some months ago. And this got him noticed by many people around the world including Rebecca Enonchong, Cameroonian born technology entrepreneur and also the founder and CEO of AppsTech.
Rebecca reached out to Microsoft Africa in a tweet saying “Hey @MicrosoftAfrica, he’s teaching MS Word on a blackboard. Surely you can get him some proper resources.”
Microsoft responded in a tweet saying “Supporting teachers to enable digital transformation in education is at the core of what we do. We will equip Owura Kwadwo with a device from one of our partners, and access to our MCE program & free professional development resources on http://education.microsoft.com”
Supporting teachers to enable digital transformation in education is at the core of what we do. We will equip Owura Kwadwo with a device from one of our partners, and access to our MCE program & free professional development resources on https://t.co/dJ6loRUOdg
— Microsoft Africa (@MicrosoftAfrica) February 27, 2018
Now the 33 year old ICT teacher at Betenase M/A Junior High School in the town of Sekyedomase in Kumasi, Ghana, has gone onto his Facebook page (nickname Owura Kwadwo Hottish) to thank Microsoft for donating 27 new laptops to the school.
“I want to say a very big thank you to #Microsoft for what they have given to my school #BetenaseMAjhs. I really appreciate and God richly bless you all abundantly.
Microsoft u do all. This will go a long way to support the teaching and learning of #ICT in the school.
From #ICTONTHEBOARD to #COMPUTERLAB.
GOD BLESS ANYONE WHO PLAYED A KEY ROLE TO MAKE THIS A REALITY.
Before this donation from Microsoft, Richard was in Singapore where he attended the Microsoft Global Education Exchange Summit! And Microsoft will partner with the teacher to provide device and software support for students and professional development for the teachers.
We're excited to see Owura Kwadwo Hottish in Singapore attending the Microsoft Global Education Exchange Summit! pic.twitter.com/2msY0msIAQ
— Microsoft Africa (@MicrosoftAfrica) March 13, 2018
He also got a new laptop from a benefactor at UK’s University of Leeds and another donation of five desktop computers for the school and the gift of a laptop for Akoto’s personal use by NIIT, a computer training school headquartered in Accra, the capital of Ghana.
Terry Ballantini, chief operating officer of Normal Gadgets, a cellphone and computer repair shop at 2103 N. Veterans Parkway in Bloomington, has sent Richard Akoto a Facebook message, asking if the Normal Gadgets crew could send refurbished laptops to the African school.
“This gentleman had to re-create the functions and programs on a laptop by drawing it on a blackboard and the students have to take notes and learn from there without electronics. It amazed me that he did this every day with a passion,” said Ballantini.
Ballantini sent out requests for donations of used laptops through Facebook, Bloomington-Normal Sunrise Rotary Club and local school districts.
Ballantini packaged the updated laptops and shipped them to Richard and Betenase M/A Junior High School last week. He said Normal Gadgets will continue to collect devices to either send to Africa or another school in need.
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