Distance learning will solve infrastructure problems - Baffour
Accra, Sept. 9, GNA - Dr Robert Baffour, Vice President of the Ghana Telecom University College (GTUC), on Wednesday said distance learning was the panacea for solving infrastructural problems facing universities and other tertiary institutions. He said given the increasing number of students applying for university education at a time when resources to expand infrastructure were inadequate, it was necessary to make the distance learning concept an integral part of higher education.
Dr Baffour said this during the opening of a two-day training workshop on Instructional Technology (IT), a systemic and systematic application of research-based instructional strategies involving the use of the internet to reach many students and improve their learning capabilities, organized by the GTUC in Accra. The instructional technology also ensures effec tive instructional support for faculty, students and staff, equips students with 21st century skills as well as provides effective communication among various institutional units for improved performance.
The workshop, which is being attended by 15 lecturers from universities and polytechnics in the country, aims to equip participants with knowledge on how to apply the IT to solve problems. Dr Baffour said it was time for developing economies to embrace technology and apply it in their everyday activities adding that the continuous reliance on crude methods of doing things would not help them to catch-up with the rest of the world.
He said it was incomprehensible for universities that were to find solutions to society's problems, to turn down applications of qualified students for the simple reason that they did not have enough infrastructure to accommodate the students.
He mentioned Indira Ghandi University in India, which even though did not have enough infrastructure, had over two million students population and used technology to ensure that all of them benefited from the same lecture at the same time no matter where they were. He said the GTUC applied the distance learning concept to running most of its programmes and added that some of its students were not in Ghana but read programmes designed and administered in Ghana. Dr Baffour said suggestions that distance learning was inferior to the classroom structure of education were untrue adding that various mechanisms existed to check the performance of students. He called for proper mainstreaming of the concept to enable many more qualified students to have access to tertiary education.