Ghana Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has said it will partner the relevant institution working on the e-learning platforms of the various public universities to ensure the extension of the service to private universities.
The Private Universities Students Association of Ghana (PUSAG) had earlier said it will not be advisable for the Ministry of Education to permit public universities to organise online end-of-semester examination for students across the country.
According to the group, the policy could be discriminatory, as many of the students studying in private universities and other university colleges, will be left out.
The group also lamented what it terms the neglect of private university students by the government in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
PUSAG said all interventions from the education ministry, so far, including the e-learning platforms, have only benefited a few public universities.
“We are of the strong conviction that the government has neglected us in its plans toward combating this novel coronavirus”, PUSAG President Aswel Annan told Class News, explaining: “Because a lot of packages have been announced for SMEs in this country and we believe that as private universities, we also, in a way, help the government to ensure that ordinary Ghanaian students have access to tertiary education. So, we want to, indeed, plead with the government to come out with modalities to ensure the smooth running of private universities at this critical moment”.
Mr Annan also noted that as the academic calendar draws to a close, many public universities have issued notices that end-of-semester examination will be online but the Private Universities Students Association is of the view that the Ministry of Education would have to come to the aid of over 50 members because the move could be discriminatory against private universities who are finding it difficult to smoothly run their activities in the wake of the outbreak.
“Not all private university students in Ghana have access to the internet and most of them are also in remote areas and we all know that internet connectivity and electricity in Ghana are not stable so you can imagine when someone has low battery or there is no light at where students are and at that time it been scheduled for them to take the exams, they will find it difficult to access the internet. So, we think that writing exams online is not advisable and we think most of the private universities would be left out”.
In a statement released by NUGS on Thursday, 14 May 2020 on updates from the second stakeholders meeting, it explained that on the inclusion of private institutions in the e-learning programme, “The student leadership shall partner with the relevant institution currently working to unite the various E-learning platforms of the various public universities in creating their E-Learning platform to extend such services to private universities within the shortest possible time.”