The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has disclosed that a staggering 2.6 million schoolchildren between ages 6 and 17 are without access to ICT tools and devices in Ghana.
A survey conducted by the Statistical Service between April to June 2021 found that “nationally, 2.6 million children 6 to 17 years that were currently attending school did not use an ICT device in the three months preceding Census Night (April to June 2021).”
“Over a third (35.2%) of children 6 to 17 years that were currently attending school did not use an ICT device compared to 30.1 percent of those that attended school in the past and 85.5 percent of children who have never attended school. More than half of children attending school in the Savannah (51.6%), North East (51.0%), and Oti (50.2%) regions did not use an ICT device within the three-month period,” the survey expanded.
With regard to internet penetration and access, the GSS survey remarked that 41.5 percent of schoolchildren had no access with the Oti Region sitting on top of the ladder with 59.7 percent of the survey’s participants.
“Two in every five (41.5%) children attending school did not access the internet in the three-month period. The Oti Region (59.7%), which had the highest percentage, is one of eight regions that had more than half of children attending school not accessing the internet in the previous three months: North East (56.1%), Upper West (57.5%), Savannah (55.9%), Northern (53.1%), Bono East (52.7%), Upper East (52.5%) and Volta (50.5%).
“When comparing different age groups, the percentage of children currently attending school that did not use an ICT declined with age: 41.1% of children 6 to 11 years, 38.2% of children 12 to 14 years, and 22.1% of children 15 to 17 years currently attending school did not use an ICT device in the three months preceding Census Night. The same pattern holds for internet usage within the period with 46.5% of school children 6 to 11 years, 45.2% of those 12 to 14 years, and 34.6% of those 15 to 17 years not accessing the internet.”
The survey was conducted as part of International Day of the African Child which is commemorated annually on June 16th. The theme for 2023 is “The Rights of the Child in the digital environment”.