Experts doubt effectiveness of distance learning programmes as schools close over coronavirus
Two stakeholders in education have cast doubts over the effectiveness of distance learning programmes that the President tasked two government agencies to roll out as schools close down in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
President Nana Akufo-Addo directed schools in the country to shut down from Monday, March 16 when he gave directives to combat the spread of the disease on Sunday.
“All universities, Senior High Schools, and basic schools, i.e. public and private schools, will be closed Monday, 16th March 2020, till further notice. The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communication, has been tasked to roll out distance learning programmes,” he said.
However, President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Angel Carbonu, and Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Mr Kofi Asare, say Ghana’s e-learning infrastructure is not developed enough for e-learning programmes to make any meaningful impact in public schools especially.
Speaking on late evening current affairs programme, PM Express, Mr Kofi Asare said in his estimation, Ghana’s e-learning platform is highly undeveloped to deal with effective teaching and learning through electronic media.
“There have been initiatives in the past and present to strengthen the capacity of the Centre for Distance Learning…but unfortunately it is highly undeveloped in the sense that the reach is an issue.
“We still have issues reaching the last person in the last community,” he said on PM Express.
Mr Carbonu also noted that teachers across the country are challenged in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for teaching in this country.
“Myself, the President of NAGRAT talking to you, is IT challenged,” he admitted.
“This is something that I think teachers in this country, all of us, will have to begin taking seriously.
“The time has come that the way to go for a teacher is to develop their IT capacity to be able to communicate information from the classroom to the student, wherever the student may be,” he said.
According to the NAGRAT President, it was about time infrastructure and skills training for distance learning were taken seriously.