The Founder of the Laweh Open University College, Professor Joshua Alabi, has emphasized the need to adopt and give credence to open and distance online system of learning for tertiary education students in the Country.
He explained that open online education is a flexible part-time mode of learning that allows distance learning using online platforms to offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Professor Alabi said this at the maiden convocation lecture of the Laweh Open University College, ahead of its graduation ceremony in Accra. It was on the theme: “The Relevance Of Open Distance Learning In Contemporary Ghana.”
He noted that open online system of learning would help workers with interest in furthering their education without quitting or leaving their jobs.
Professor Alabi who is also the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies Accra, delivery keynote address on the theme said, Africa has deprived itself of the true driver of development by over emphasising basic and secondary education at the detriment of tertiary level. This he said, has given rise to the phenomenon of little learning, which according to him is a canker which undermines Africa’s sustainable development.
Professor Alabi called for a departure from the composition of only old learned professors leading educational reforms dialogues, calling for the youth who own these policies to play majority role such dialogues for the good of Ghana’s educational system.
The Vice Chancellor of the Tanzania Open University, Professor Elifas Tozo Bisanda who was the gust speaker at the event says the classical physical lecture system in the university is doomed to die, and called for a paradigm shift in the African educational system regarding the mode of learning.
According to him, the western world in view of the technological advancement is steadily departing from the conventional physical contact means of learning to Open Distance Learning due to space and time, and Africa must not be left behind if it really wants to keep at par with the rest of the world.
Professor Bisanda noted that, an Open Distance Learning learner who is research oriented is a self motivated, strong and agile independent leaner, and these enable them to explore all avenues and adequately equipment them for the job market, asking Ghana and the African continent to embrace the system.
A Professor at the Department of Adults Education at the University of Ghana, Legon, Professor Olivia Kwapong who was the chief host reiterated a return to the indigenous apprenticeship approach of education which encapsulates socialisation, learning of languages and religion among others, making learners relevant in the world of work.
Professor Kwapong who believes the best institution is the one which identifies the strength and weakness of students, groom and bring out the best in them, also suggested that institutions give the first chances to the perceived poor students before those deemed brilliant, if Ghana and for that matter, Africa really seeks to harness its human resource capital.
Laweh Open University, affiliated to the Tanzania Open University is the first open university in Ghana and is graduating 22 students for 2019 academic year.
By: Paul Mamattah