“We are after Kelvin Amaniampong. Lead us to his room or we kill you.” These were the words of three men with knives when they confronted Florence Appiah – Kelvin’s cousin.

It was 11:30 PM and everyone in the neighbourhood was asleep. Florence out of anxiety told them that they were in the wrong house. She had the opportunity to cry out “thieves, thieves, thieves” when she heard a neighbour open his door. The armed men fled and the incidence was reported to the Police at Akim Manso the following day.

But Why Would Anyone Kidnap poor Kelvin Amaniampong?

14-year old Kelvin made the headlines after he came up with a web app (Scrolbooks) that is meant to fix some challenges with the free education programme in Ghana. To better understand the situation, let’s look at some features and advantages Scrolbooks has to offer Ghanaians and the world at large.

Features & Advantages of Scrolbooks

1. Talk to a Teacher: This feature allows students to connect easily with teachers online or book them for tutorials or homework help. This way, teachers get the opportunity to earn extra revenue while enhancing education at the same time.

2. Scrolbooks has the ability to track students’ performance and assess them based on the BECE, WASSCE, Nov-Dec etc. Past Questions they solve. Based on this, top-performing students will be awarded to motivate others. This brings us to one of the most important features – Top Students connect.

3. Top Students connect: Here, weak students can connect with smarter ones to help them with their studies. This adds extra social media features to Scrolbooks to help fight Social Media Addiction among students. Social media addiction is another big global challenge that Scrolbooks is trying to counter through education online.

4. The interactive nature and social network integration make learning more fun and it raises students interest in learning.

5. 100% Free books for all students especially JHS and SHS. These books will be in line with the GES syllabus and can be accessed both online and offline, downloadable and printable as well. With total elimination of printed books, the government can save a minimum of GH¢288 million on books.

Don’t take my word for it. Let’s do the maths: 1.2 million students have been enrolled for Free SHS. Each student will receive at least 12 books (6 Textbooks & 6 Pasco). The cost of each book is at least GH ¢ 20.

GH¢ to be spent on books for free SHS

So GH ¢ 288 million to be spent on books only. This amount excludes transportation cost, among others. But wait! The syllabus must be revised and Pasco’s must be reprinted to include new questions. This means mother Ghana will be spending even more money each year.

6. Scrolbooks will completely eliminate Double-track vacation classes.

7. Scrolbooks is available on all platforms (Android, Windows, iOS) and devices (mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop).

Scrolbooks available on all devices

8. Scrolbooks completely eliminates the need for printing new books due to revision of the syllabus.

9. Scrolbooks can be used to conduct exams.

10. Kelvin is with Greta Thunberg in the fight against climate change and he is doing this through Scrolbooks.

As we’re digitizing education, we’re helping Save the Trees and in effect, we’re saving the Planet.

– Kelvin A.
Greta Thunberg – Climate change activist. Image: PRI

11. Scrolbooks completely eliminates book spoilage through burning, tearing, etc.

So who went after Kelvin and why would they go after him? Well, I guess you’ve figured out the answer from the advantages Scrolbooks has to offer … But according to Kelvin’s uncle, Scrolbooks is bringing even more jobs to Ghanaians. He refused to give details on that claim but has promised to do that in the next interview. He also highlighted that Scrolbooks will work hand in hand with book authors.

As school reopens, we wish Kelvin and all SHS students a more successful semester.

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