The University of Cape Coast (UCC) in collaboration with the Distance Education Students Association of Ghana (DESAG), is to procure tablet computers for all distance education students, to assist them to launch a new era of learning with Information Communication Technology (ICT), as well as facilitate academic work.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University , Professor Domwini D. Kuupole who announced this said, the plan is expected to be executed by the beginning of next academic year, to coincide with the commissioning of the e-Learning platform for delivery of academic programmes.
The Vice-Chancellor announced this at the 47th Congregation of the University, with a total of 6,029 students completing various degree and diploma programmes of study with the Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) for the 2012/2013 academic year.
The programmes included, Diploma in Basic Education, Diploma in Psychology and Foundation of Education, Diploma in Education, Diploma in management studies, Diploma in Commerce, Bachelor in Psychology and foundation of education, Bachelor in commerce, Bachelor Management studies and Bachelor in marketing.
Prof. Kuupole further announced that another boost for the distance learning programme was the planned review and digitization of learning modules by the CCE, and that the advantage was that distance education students would no longer be required to travel around study centres with large volumes of modules, but just a small ipad.
He stated that the E-learning platform for the delivery of academic programmes was almost completed, except with the setting up of electronic servers and equipment, and was hopeful that by the end of 2014, when the installation was completed, delivery of post graduate and undergraduate courses would be facilitated through the E-learning platform.
The Vice-Chancellor said the University was in the process of integrating data on distance students onto the main university database, and by this feat, it was expected that students on distance learning, would soon access their academic materials, such as their modules, electronically.
Prof. Kuupole said in an effort to assist its distance learning education, as part of its expansion process, the University will from the start of the 2014/2015 academic year , open 12 new study centres across the country.
He said the centres which will be at Axim, Enchi, Kasoa, Nandom, Lawra, Asankragwa, Bimbilla, Bawku, Dodowa, Navrongo and Akosombo, will make access to the University’s learning centres readily close to teachers and public sector workers, who wish to further their studies but still stay close to their places of work.
“This will also address the perceived notion of teacher absenteeism often attributed to teachers pursuing Distance Education programme”, he added
Prof Kuupole said the university has also begun offering post graduate programmes such as Master of Education(M.Ed.) in Administration, Measurement and evaluation, Psychology and special Education as well as MBA in banking, Finance, Human Resource Management and Marketing through distant learning .
He said the introduction of the programmes were part of the university’s determination to open more opportunities for the public to ensure their continuous academic upgrading and professional development and lifelong learning.
Prof Kuupole said the first cohort of graduate students had commenced classes in three regional Centres namely Accra, Kumasi and University of Cape Coast and that a Centre to cater for the northern sector has also been opened in Tamale for those who wish to pursue graduate programme by distance, effective 2014/2015 academic year.
The Vice-Chancellor noted that, management in order to motivate staff at the grassroots to improve on the delivery of academic programmes and make them more committed and innovative, have plans to institute an awards scheme to deserving course tutors and coordinators at the study centres level.
He urged graduating students to treat others with civility and make efforts to impact positively on themselves and on others who have been disadvantaged in one way or the other, but strive for the best for others to know that they are products of UCC.
Nana Brew –Butler, member of the University Council noted that the university, as the pioneer in distance education in Ghana had offered flexible training to workers to pursue continuous professional development without interrupting their work lives.
He expressed satisfaction that the strategic vision of the first President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah for UCC to train highly qualified and skilled manpower in education to provide leadership and enlightenment, was being fulfilled.
He said the university was determined to provide greater access to higher education with the introduction of graduate programmes by distance learning, and expressed optimism that the intervention would not only allow academic progression for students, but further enhance their knowledge as workers, to impact positively on the job.
He urged graduating students to avoid laziness and set specific targets for their personal career development and family life as well as be principled, humble but courageous.
The Overall Best graduating student, Ms. Theresa Tettey, in her valedictory address, dismissed the assertion that distant students were inferior to regular student, and encouraged people who desired to pursue further studies to enroll.
The two-year Bachelor of Commerce student, urged her colleagues to make a difference wherever they found themselves.
Ms. Tettey who had a CGPA of 3.9 had GHC 1,500 in addition to a plaque, and a scholarship from the CCE, to pursue a post graduate programme.
Cash awards were also presented to 11 other deserving graduating students. GNA