The University of Education, Winneba (UEW) has admitted 4,640 fresh students into its distance learning programme in the southern sector.
The students are part of a total of 9,851 who were offered admission to pursue UEW’s distance education programme in the southern and northern sectors for the 2011/12 academic year. The remainder of 5,211 will be matriculated at the Kumasi Campus for the northern sector on January 18, 2011.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba, Professor Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw, said the university currently had 18 distance learning study centres across the country.
For convenience, he said, the centres had been categorised into southern and northern sectors with the southern sector comprising Accra, Assin Fosu, Cape Coast, Dambai, Hohoe, Koforidua, Sogakope and Winneba. The northern sector has Tarkwa, Obuasi, Kumasi, Atebubu, Bechem, Techiman, Enchi, Tamale, Navrongo and Wa as centres.
He said there were quite a large number of teachers with Certificate ‘A’ and Diploma in Basic Education qualification who taught in schools, and that “these teachers need to be upgraded or retrained to improve upon their pedagogical skills and competencies to make them functional and relevant in the classrooms”.
Prof. Asabre-Ameyaw said equally, there were many classrooms without teachers since the teacher training institutions did not have the capacity to adequately train such large number of teachers through the conventional face-to-face mode of teaching.
“In response to our mission, and to address the shortfall in the teacher requirements in our schools and to train competent and skilful teachers, UEW continues to create more access and equity for teachers to access tertiary education by developing more programmes in addition to the gradual and systematic expansion of our distance education programmes,” he said.
As a result, he said, additional study centres would be established with the target locations being Axim, Nkawkaw, Konongo-Odumasi, Agogo, Odumasi-Krobo/Somanya, Sefwi Wiawso, Tema, Drobo, Tumu and Ashanti Mampong.
Prof. Asabre-Ameyaw said the management of UEW was abreast of the challenges of its distance learning students and was “systematically addressing them”.
He said the university had introduced postgraduate diploma in mentorship by distance programme and that the first batch comprised 67 students.
He said the programme was intended to train professional certified mentors who would contribute to the changing national needs of teacher education in Ghana.
To enable students to access information, he said, the university had procured the distance education information system online software to enable them to access the internet and study materials, among other things.
Prof. Asabre-Ameyaw told the students that the tutors they would be meeting monthly have been carefully selected and trained to support them, addeding, “the monthly tutorial sessions that you will be attending should provide you opportunities to meet your colleagues at your study centres to help reduce the loneliness that you may encounter as a distance learner”.
“The goal of the distance education programme at UEW is not to help you to acquire certificates for enhanced salaries but to change your total outlook, your commitment to duty, and above all, your attitude to life,” he told the fresh students.
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