National University

Alumni Profile: Harry Tetteh

Resident of Ghana has been recognized for promoting 21st Century learning in Africa

Those who have had the privilege to meet National University alumnus Harry Tetteh will quickly appreciate his pride in earning a Master of Science degree in Educational and Instructional Technology as an online student in Ghana. He is remarkably passionate about computers and doggedly determined to utilize the Internet to its fullest extent as a learning tool.

Those who don’t know Mr. Tetteh's personal story may not immediately appreciate the extraordinary lengths to which he routinely went to access to the simplest of dial-up Internet connections, or the laudable efforts he has made to introduce his fellow countrymen to the most elementary elements of the Digital Age.

Living with his family in the Ashanti region of Ghana, an area better known for cocoa than computers, the National University student would regularly travel 45 minutes by bus to log in and attend online classes in an Internet café.

“Most of the time I would spend all night there and return home early the next morning because of problems catching a bus,” he explained. “The rates were cheaper and the connections were better after 10 p.m.”

Mr. Tetteh's perseverance paid off when he became the first student from Ghana to participate in ThinkQuest, an international competition sponsored by the Oracle Education Foundation that encourages participants to create innovative and educational web sites. His web site about sea mammals earned the platinum medal in ThinkQuest Africa’s science and math category in 2002.

Serving as a role model for other young Ghanans, Mr. Tetteh volunteered as a computer tutor, downloading Internet content onto flash drives and traveling with his laptop to schools in rural villages, where he introduced computer fundamentals to farm children and encouraged their participation in ThinkQuest.

“Because these villages had no electricity or Internet access, I collected the students’ work and submitted in on their behalf from the Internet Café,” Mr. Tetteh added. Consequently, one of Harry’s protégés went on to win a ThinkQuest Africa competition himself.

“The value of technology in education cannot be overlooked in this technology-driven century,” Mr. Tetteh said. “It is therefore vital for students of all ages and nationalities to be well abreast with technological trends, and I believe that is the key to unearthing the hidden potential of tens of thousands of African students.”

Mr. Tetteh is grateful to National University for what he describes as a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” and looks forward to utilizing everything he has learned in his master’s program as he continues to introduce rural Ghanans to computers and the Internet.

He currently works for Oracle African Operations as a Technology Presales Consultant, and has written his own book titled Build Your Own Website, for primary and secondary schools and anyone interested in knowing how to build websites.