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Halt any monetary discussions, allow trainees to register e-learning platforms – TTAG to affiliate universities

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Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana (TTAG) in a statement copied to the Ministry of Education and other educational stakeholders has urged the Institute of Education under University of Cape Coast (UCC) and other affiliate universities to halt any monetary discussions and allow trainees to register for the e-learning platform.

According to TTAG, trainees in the 46 colleges of education have paid fees for the 2019/2020 academic year. “The outstanding fees to be paid by them is examination fee for the second semester”, the statement said.

These were some of the concerns raised in a meeting with the National Council for Tertiary Education, NCTE. These concerns were aimed at mitigating challenges associated with the closure of schools, the virtual learning and microsite update (A learning platform that will allow users (students) to access online learning materials faster and with ease).

Below are the full recommendations and resolutions raised.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Since cost of internet bundle is a bottle neck to the success of virtual
learning, NCTE, Universities and other stakeholders should engage
telecommunication networks to give a waiver (zero-rate) or subsidize the
cost of data to make it very affordable for students.

2. The payment of teacher trainees allowances should be continued so
that some of those funds can be used to purchase internet bundle.

3. Lessons and learning materials should be presented in downloadable formats so students can download and learn later. This would also reducethe cost otherwise associated with live lessons.

4. On the issue of how to reach and engage all students, we suggested thatlearning experiences be created to cater for all spectrum of students
(which is made up of those who could not afford data, do not have accessto smart devices and those that were in out-of-internet coverage areas). Perhaps a dedicated TV channel (same as has been set up for SHSstudents) could be launched so lessons can be aired there. Then WhatsApp, google classrooms and other virtual platforms can be used aswell. Also, slides could be developed accompanied by audio to explainthe slides. Summarily, we proposed the use of multiple media.

5. To deal with extreme cases, we suggested that for students who couldnot use any of the above could be brought back to campus, observing allthe social distancing protocols to be taught by selected tutors.

6. We also suggested the setting up of a dedicated network short code thatwould act as a customer care number with selected tutors at the end of theline ready to support when inquiries are made.

7. Another suggestion is to send out surveys via google sheets or WhatsApp to find out from trainee teachers why they may not be able totake part in e-learning in order to find individualized ways to support
them.

8. On the issue of assessment, the suggestion is to develop types of
assessment that do not require immediate response to allow students timeto access, complete and submit them.

9. We requested the release of last semester examination results to enablestudents prepare their minds for the e-learning platform.

RESOLUTIONS

1. We commend stakeholders for the e-learning platform initiative and
call on them to as soon as possible address the recommendations made
before the complete roll out of the platform on 20th April, 2020.

2. On the basis of the assurances given by the stakeholders regarding
addressing pertinent issues raised, all teacher trainees are kindly
encouraged to sign up onto any online platforms set up by their various colleges to disseminate relevant information on our studies in view of the corona virus pandemic and resultant shut down of schools.

3. Trainees in the 46 colleges of education have paid fees for the
2019/2020 academic year. The outstanding fees to be paid by them is examination fees for the second semester. We therefore call on Institute of Education (UCC) and other affiliate universities to halt any financial discussions regarding the E-learning and pave way for all students to register. We are hopeful that by the time examination is due, the pandemic might have exited us and trainees’ would pay their examination fees.

4. We shall continue to monitor the platform and the registration process and accordingly review our association’s stance.

5. All teacher trainees are entreated to channel their grievances, suggestions and comments for redress via 0502979063 (whatsapp), our facebook page (fb.com/ttagnational) and email address (ttagghana1993@gmail.com). Alternatively, any executive can be
reached via the phone numbers on the letterhead

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