Four thousand, nine hundred and forty-six (4,946) pupils in eight districts in Ashanti and the Brong Ahafo Regions have benefited from free computer training lessons in the past three months.

Most of the beneficiaries who have never used a computer before got the opportunity to use the computer and the Internet for the first time.

The training initiative was undertaken by the Otumfuo-Agroecom Mobile Library Project (OAMLP), a subsidiary of the Otumfuo Charity Foundation in collaboration with Agroecom Ghana Ltd., a cocoa buying company.

Among its aims are to ensure that less fortunate children in deprived communities have the same learning conditions as other children in the cities and urban areas as well as encourage the habit of reading and the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) among basic school pupils.

So far districts that have benefitted from the initiative are Sekyere North, Bekwai Municipality, Atwima Mponua, Bibiani-Anwhiaso-Bekwai, Bosomtwe, Offinso Municipality, New Edubiase and Goaso district.

Country Coordinator of Agroecom Ghana Ltd., Mr Muhammadu Muzzammil, described the role of the OAMLP as very crucial in bridging the gap between pupils in urban areas and their counterparts in the hard-to-reach areas of the country.

He stated that the project christened: ‘Otumfuo-Agroecom Mobile Library Project,’ consists of three major parts namely Reading, ICT and Cinema.

The cinema, he explained, is intended to bring a message from His Royal Highness, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, as it exhibits the rich Ghanaian culture and educate farmers on good agricultural practices, farm management, information from the cocoa industry and projection of Agroecom in the communities.

After touring some schools in cocoa growing areas, it came to light that about 40 per cent of the pupils in the selected villages confirmed that they had not seen physical computers before except the drawings they see in their textbooks.

Almost, all the students did not know how to operate the computer and were assisted to use it as some had knowledge on some of the basic computer software but did not know their uses. Although, there were ICT teachers in some of the schools, resources such as textbooks and computers were not available for the students, adding that some of the communities had rooms intended for ICT but there were no computers in them.