Guest blog post: AshCon team from Ashesi University in Ghana compliments iLab

We are a team of three students from Ashesi University in Ghana, implementing AshCon at Ricks Institute. AshCon is an off-line e-learning platform that serves high-quality educational material to students and teachers without the need for an Internet connection. To learn more about AshCon, you can visit our blog. As part of our project, we had to find and download additional educational materials, however our Internet connection was too slow. Kpetermeni Siakor, our team leader had been mentioning iLab even before we left Ghana and said that they would be able to help us. Kpetermeni is actually one of the first employees of iLab. We then contacted iLab for them to allow us to use their facility and their Internet connection and they agreed.

Our first day in iLab was really joyous, Kpetermeni was really happy to see his former colleagues and friends Anthony, Carter and Luther again. We also got to meet Teemu Ropponen the country director who was going for a meeting outside. We had the chance to meet Teemu earlier during our first week in Liberia; he was invited to the AJEN summer camp organized by Ashesi University at Ricks Institute to tell the participants about iLab and how they could benefit from it. After all the excitement settled, Anthony Kamah gave us a tour of iLab and helped us setup. Mr. Kamah was very kind and helpful. Later on, we had to temporarily move to the kitchen so as not to disrupt iLab’s activities. We were so comfortable in the kitchen that we decided to stay there and make it our workspace for the following days.

Our stay in iLab was very fruitful. During the day, we would search for creative commons educational material and save the links in a download manager. Considering the volume of our download, it was preferable not to download during the day to avoid slowing the internet for everyone else. Before leaving in the evening, we would launch the downloads. This way we ensured not to monopolize the internet connection considering the volume of our downloads.

During our time at iLab, we got a glimpse of some of their activities: co-working hours, TED talk night, python for girls, social media for social change and a lot of other events.

Ashesi University offers scholarships to Liberians

Last month, we received a delegation from Ghana’s Ashesi University. In addition to visiting iLab and getting a sense of our operations, the delegation came to offer scholarship opportunities to qualified Liberian students.

Ashesi University is a coeducational institution whose goal is to educate African leaders
of exceptional integrity and professional ability. The university, which began instruction in March

 2002 with a pioneer class of 30 students, has quickly gained a reputation for innovation and quality education in Ghana.

The university is an independent, private, not-for-profit institution.

The University co-founder, Patrick Awuah, speaks at TED talks about the university on the topic “educating leaders”; we highly recommend this video – watch it here.

The day after our meeting with Ashesi delegation, we invited iLab users to attend and informational session explaining the procedure and necessary forms to apply for the scholarship opportunity. More than 80 interested candidates were in attendance, including both iLab users and others new to our facility. During our meeting, we explained about the University, the levels of scholarships awarded, procedure for applying for the scholarship, and a virtual tour of the campus through the university’s website, and at the end of our meeting, we encouraged all interested candidates to attend the official Ashesi University Scholarship launch which was to be held the next day at the Joseph Jenkins Roberts United Methodist School in Monrovia.

Our team attended the launch and found that nearly 50% to 60% percent of the people at the launch had attended the scholarship awareness meeting at iLab Liberia the day before.


The scholarship opportunity

Ashesi University has over $3,000,000 from the MasterCard Foundation to give financial assistance to applicants who otherwise could not afford the college’s tuition. Nearly 40% of their student body receives scholarships from the University.

Ashesi offers a four-year bachelor’s program grounded in the liberal arts core curriculum. Degrees offered include:

  • Business Administration

  • Management information Systems

  • Computer Science

Ashesi University is here in Liberia to award significant financial support to qualified students who need such assistance. Students accepted will be eligible for full or partial scholarship support to cover their tuition fees, textbooks, housing, and meals. In addition, 40 scholarship recipients will receive laptops each year.

The admission and scholarship application forms can be downloaded here.

Requirements for scholarship

  1. WAEC – All applicants are required to have obtained division I, II, & III in the West African Examination.

  2. If in High School, you are required to provide your transcript along with your application form(s)

  3. Engage with other activities, skills, leadership ability, volunteer job, sports, talents, etc is an added advantage

  4. Bank Statements, pay slips etc from family

  5. Fill in the Admissions and Scholarships Forms (if you are applying for a scholarship)

  6. Complete Application Forms in CAPITAL LETTERS

  7. Submit Forms my post and email

  8. If selected you will have to undergo on-phone interview (The University admissions office will call and interview you by phone on the number you will provide in your application form).


Frequently Asked Questions about the Ashesi scholarships

Who can apply for a scholarship at Ashesi?

Any family that can not afford the full fees should complete a scholarship.

Application Form and turn it in with their admissions application.

You can not apply for a scholarship after you have been admitted.

Will I need to submit any supporting documentation with my scholarship application?

A letter requesting why you need a scholarship is required. Families will able be required to submit bank statements, pay slips and any other relevant documentation. The more information you can include to support your inability to pay the full fees, the easier it will be to process your request. However, if you are unable to provide supporting documentation please explain in your letter why you are unable to do so.

How are scholarship decisions made?

First, the selection process begins by determining who should be given an offfer of admission based on each applicant’s overall profile

Second, based on your scholarship need, you are placed into one of three categories:

Extreme Need (over $5,000)

High Need (between 3,500 – 5, 000)

Medium Need (between 2,000 – 3,500)

Low Need (less than 2,000)

For each category, there is a set amount of scholarships Ashesi can award.

Third, students in each category are selected based on the competitiveness of their admissions application.

When will I know whether I have been awarded a scholarship?

Typically, decisions are made within three weeks of submitting a completed application. You will receive both your admission and scholarship decision at the same time.

Will the scholarship be renewed every year?

As long as you and your family can continue to demonstrate financial need, you can expect that your scholarship award will be renewed annually. The scholarship committee meets annually to assess the financial status of each scholar’s family. You may be asked to submit updated bank statements, pay slips and other supporting documents of verify your family’s financial standings.

Where iLab comes in

Looking at iLab Liberia’s mission to provide and encourage innovation, access and technology, we are in a position to provide our users with any possible learning opportunities that enable them to excel. In an effort to helped our users understand the requirements and submit their applications, iLab has pledged to do the following:

  1. iLab sent out a citation to all her users and the public upon which they gathered at iLab’s office where they were briefed about how to apply, provided copies of the application Forms, and encouraged them to attend the launching ceremony to hear from the horse’s mouth.

  2. Obligated her lab to all applicants to send their applications by email.

It is our hope an prayer that a good number of Liberians applying will be qualified and admitted.

Thank-you Letter from Columbia University

Access to technology is a huge challenge for local Liberians. iLab Liberia in an effort to minimize this gap has used its hub as a single public point for techies and innovators to access the internet in Liberia.

 

Among the many beneficiaries of this initiative are Liberians, expatriates and other INGOs, foreign universities and institutes that use iLab’s facility to enhance their mission, programs and surveys.

 

Below is a thank-you letter from Columbia University as a testimony for the assistance ilab rendered while they were carryout a survey in Liberia.