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Ghana Education Service, may you be safe from this COVID-19 virus. Greetings from a student of the University For Development Studies, Navrongo.
I write to you as an ordinary village boy pouring out his feelings with regard to the decision reached by the Government of Ghana to continue lectures online.
I’m very aware that, we are under serious circumstances and desperate times as a country and an institution.
The coronavirus pandemic cannot be underestimated and we need to deploy all necessary resources readily available to combat this pandemic.
The online teaching and learning I’m sorry to say is problematic and therefore should be immediately reconsidered.
I suggest we fight this disease first. The trimester/semester can be dissolved and restarted again when we are done with corona. Of what use is our education if we are unhealthy and very dead.
I find it very troublesome and worrying for students to be undergoing online classes when there’s a serious pandemic like Covid-19 still in play. We have to ask ourselves if;
We are in our right mental and psychological minds to take these online courses with the number of cases increasing almost daily?
What is the pass rate of “face to face” lectures and we are introducing an online teaching system?
How many of us have the tools for this? Laptops, internet access, and smartphones. Many of us are challenged financially and geographically.
What happens to those in the rural areas who sights a car once every market day?
What are the provisions made for the students with special needs like the blind?
Does that mean we have to cut some of the practical courses? Like the Theatre Arts students who are going to be producing plays, like the dance and medical practicals and many more.
These are a few of the challenges that aren’t addressed, and until they are addressed, we can’t have a successful and beneficial exchange of knowledge.
We need a new paradigm shift, our culture and educational system train us not to question authority, they tell us that it’s disrespectful and uncharacteristic of someone who still wants to grow to criticize. This we must change. If my ambitions to go higher one day should curtail me from rendering constructive criticisms, then I’m doomed as a person. I know you are training us to be leaders who will be questioned and criticized, leaders who will be welcoming, considering and forthcoming rather than imposing and authoritarian.
I humbly employ The Ministry of Education headed by Hon. Matthew Opoku Prempeh and his abled team of geniuses to consider the plight of the rural and underprivileged boy, for
Most of us try so hard to get to Tamale or Accra for school, long-distance and time, the least you can do is to appreciate our efforts and not make it more cumbersome. Believe you me, many of our mates have not received this information yet due to a lack of internet access or smartphones.
Let’s all keep calm and humbly drop this idea. The interest of students should be at the helm of affairs.
The plight of the few should be a concern for the many.
By Imoro Malik-UDS
Credit: Mohammed Salam – UG