The University Students Association of Ghana, USAG, has suggested that a streamlining of all online platforms designed to facilitate academic activities whies students are home due to the COVID-19 pandemic will ease the challenges that are currently being faced.
Paul Abrokwa, President of the USAG, explained that the universities have rolled out different systems that come with its own complications which hinder conducive teaching and learning atmosphere.
To resolve the challenges, he is advocating for a system that will create a common platform on which all universities will roll out their online studies.
“And there should be a streamlined system for all the universities. The University of Ghana is using SAKAI, the others I don’t know what they use so this is a problem they face in a way. so whether the network system is supporting a system or not there is still a problem so they should streamline the whole thing for the student,” he argued in an interview on Citi FM.
Some universities have indicated they wil carry out the next academic year using the online platforms they run and have urged students who haven’t completed their fees to do so promptly to avoid any mishaps.
However, some students say the impact of COVID-19 on their finances and that of their guardians and parents have been adverse.
To this end, USAG, in making proposals to the authorities say they “want the government to listen to the students. We are asking them to at least give us the students’ loan. It has been a backbone for many years of Ghanaian students and so they should release the loan to the Ghanaian students and also try to bring on board the AirtelTigo and then a good network because in some areas these are the only networks that are available so bring them on board to support the [online] system.”
To address the issue of online assessment considering the challenges that have been listed, the Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, on Wednesday, ruled out any form of exams for tertiary institutions.
“We won’t wait and be confronted with something we haven’t thought through. We have a standing committee chaired by Professor Yankah, working with the universities in coming up with the alternatives. Somebody brought a paper from one university that said we should get into the online assessment. How would I accept the online assessment when I know some persons cannot come online”
“There is no public school, conducting any exams online. some universities in rolling out their virtual learning are doing a continuous assessment. The only university that is advanced in that is KNUST that said they will do midsemester and others. We have to assess that based upon what really happened and if students were left out,” he clarified.