Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
ABOUT 15,000 Certificate “A” teachers leave the classroom each year for further studies.
The situation continues to create vacancies that are difficult to fill, which affects teaching and learning.
Professor Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Education, Winneba (UEW), made this known at the matriculation of the sixth batch of students for the Diploma In Basic Education by Distance Learning, at the College of Technology Education (Kumasi Campus) of the university at the weekend.
Prof. Asabere-Ameyaw said there was the need to train an adequate number of teachers for the expanding primary sector, and added that “the teacher training universities are expected to play leading roles in this regard”.
He said more female teachers were enrolling in the Diploma by Distance Education programme at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) to enable them to better their education and contribute effectively to national development while maintaining their families at home.
This year, about 70 per cent of the 2,880 students who matriculated for the programme in the two campuses in Kumasi and Winneba were females.
The matriculants, who numbered 1,364, constituted the northern sector enrolment of the university. The northern sector comprises Atebubu, Bechem, Enchi, Kumasi, Navrongo, Tamale and Wa.
The vice-chancellor said the goal of distance education of the university was not to help students acquire certificates for enhanced salaries but to change their total outlook, commitment to duty and attitude to life.
He noted that in spite of some inherent challenges in distance learning, there were a lot of advantages to the learner and the nation at large.
For instance, he said, “you gradually increase your confidence and level of self-determination and eventually become autonomous”.
“Successful distance learning requires the ability to reflect on your learning and become a responsible and self-directed learner,” the vice-chancellor said.
He said the university had established 13 study centres throughout the country which were equipped with computers, public address systems, furniture and library books, with the assistance of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Prof. Asabere-Ameyaw said the new knowledge economy required learners who were autonomous and could transfer information to suit different goals.
He said the university was considering the travel time and expenses incurred by distance education students when they attended tutorial sessions at the various study centres in order to arrive at a good decision.
The Principal of the Kumasi Campus of the UEW, Prof. Steve Sobotie, said the campus was ready to meet the challenges and demands of the distance education programme.
He said the ongoing educational reform would succeed if more teachers were given the requisite training and added that that was what the university was doing.