We are all aware of the state of the nation and the world at large, the fight against the corona virus pandemic. The government is doing all that is possible to make sure that we get rid of this pandemic. The health ministry and the health services are also doing great job, all to make sure that we cut short or bring out the root the virus.
They have, upon research, brought us safety protocols that will prevent us from contracting the deadly virus. I take the pleasure, not as an authority but concern citizen as well as trainee to entreat all members to adhere strictly to the protocols; wearing our face mask, washing our hands regularly, sanitizing our hands using alcohol based sanitizers, and the most important of all, observing social distance. As a collegian I also express my warm congratulation to the executive board of TTAG and all teacher trainees across the country,the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service, the government and all stakeholders of the educational system. I say ayikoo to you all for the assiduous effort you are exerting during this critical period of battling the world’s current enemy.
Notwithstanding the fact that even though we are in crisis, the Ministry of Education have seen the necessity that academic work must continue even as we stay at home and had called for online studies. Although there are challenges in this system of study, but let me seize this opportunity to advice that we put in our possible best in this system as teachers in the making for our own benefit. We do not know exactly when we shall be called upon to go back to campus and how the going will be. In case we are called to go back to campus, we can’t predict what will happen before we take our examination, and if we are to write the examination online too, it is our responsibility that creates our future. I hereby entreat all and each trainee to make the best out of our limited and pregnant time for our books and take the online studies serious.
It’s true that we employ varied ways to make the academic year complete, but we need also look critically into the problems and difficulties associated with the system employed. I am not disagreeing to the fact that teaching and learning must go on, but we should look forward to curtailing the crisis that will unfold as a result of the challenges in the online studies. I am for reconsideration and readjustment of certain factors relating to the online studies. I speak maybe, also in the veil of other colleagues in the various colleges. The way has been paved for trainees to go, but on the go, we seek redress. It doesn’t move beyond reasonable doubt that in whatever we choose to do, challenges will be encountered, but should we continue going or we do otherwise to arrive at the junction where our goals are met?
We are free of doubt that the country is not fully networked, there are, especially most remote areas which still lack internet connection and some of our brothers and sisters who are not exception of this online studies find themselves at some of such areas. The question is “what provision is made to cater for those people?”. Some have to travel to advance places to make sure they are not left out. Some of those who travel to these advance areas have no relatives with whom they could seek abode period, this led them into becoming tenants which involves another cost aside purchasing of data bundle which is a major challenge in the online studies.What of those who could not make it to network accessible places? Are they left out totally?
Even instability of the network system is also another threat to our studies, aside the learners, our lecturers are testimonial personnels to this challenge. It sometimes take a student 15-30 minutes to join a lecture and after long suffering to success, he or she could be disconnected in some few minutes. This means he or she had to go through the longsuffering process which when not lucky, access is denied. In this we lost most lectures.
Despite these challenges, our participation in the online studies is said to strongly recorded which might have effect on the individual’s assessment. If that is the case, why not consider the redress of the challenges to make all things equal? On our various learning platforms, it is interesting to know that some colleagues have not, due to one reason or the other visited any discussion, some others have not accessed at all. I recently visited our mentoring institution, University of Cape Coast platform created for the monitoring of student’s participation in this system and it is heartbreaking seeing “never” against some colleague’s name showing that he or she had not been there before. Should we say such people are just being notorious upon the many advice? Probably no, it is due to the challenges we face as students.
The future of the educational system is powered in the trainees who are going out there to impact the necessary knowledge and skills acquired into the younger ones, what then are we going to teach out there if the criteria are not met due to these challenges. I hereby, with all humility plead with the ministry of education, the government, together with our mentoring institutions to come to the hearing of the echoes of our challenges and address our plea.
Question I use to ask daily concerning this online issue is “shall we write examination online or we will be called to college to do that?” If we will write the examination online, what happens to us with our internet connection, cost of purchasing data bundle, and what also happens to those of us who are online newbies and are now learning? How will the system look like if we are to go to college to have the examination? Unlike the finalists, the number is going to be great. The question is “can the limited facilities, especially the residence conform to social distance?” Maybe we go in batches; level 100 then level 200 or vice versa, it is a suggestion although.
I might know little about what it take to solving this challenges yet in my undergraduate opinion, a change in the academic calendar is not change in the knowledge to be acquired. Instead of continuing the semester in the pandemic with the overlying challenges, why not dissolve the semester and rather affect the calendar. We can go back to school and do the normal work after battling the COVID.
I plead with the Ministry of Education and the government and all others involving bodies to consider the challenges we are facing as students in this online studies. I hereby in my undergraduate opinion suggest the following that I think when we take into consideration might help;
- Calling off the semester and effect changes in the academic calendar, taking into consideration the rate of increase of the virus.”It is better to miss a grade than to dig a grave”.
If it is possible that we continue the semester to an end amidst the pandemic, government and stakeholders should intervene in our networking challenges for stability and smoothness.
2. Writing examination online should not be the road to complete the semester. This can cause calamity in the students’ performance due to the networking challenge and others.
If we are to go to college to write examination, it should be in batches to make sure we overcome crowding. The returning can be in the two levels returning to take the examination one after the other.
I believe and trust that the weakened voice of the trainees will reach the hearing of all authorities.
#Stay home to stay safe# COVID-19 is real.
- Prosper Agyemene Ohene (Councillor)
- Level 200
Jasikan College to Education