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Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempe, Education Ministerh
Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, Education Minister

Developing countries must see education as a right – Prof. Kwapong advises

The Ministry of Education has been advised to remove educational barriers and limitations to aid citizens with no level of education.

The proponent, Professor Olivia Kwapong, Head of Department, Adult Education and Human Resource at the University of Ghana said developing countries need to see education as a right and use it to build the capacity of the average citizen.

Mrs. Kwapong made these remarks recently at the workshop on overview of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) which was jointly organised by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and the Regional Training and Research Institute for Distance and Open Learning (RETRIDOL).

According to Professor Kwarpong, the brick and mortar educational system has existed for long without meeting the demand of higher education.

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The British paradigm which has been trailed by our educational system has shed its modus operandi for e-learning.

”We would like to encourage all the stakeholders, let’s put our resources together and open up just as the international communities is opening up so that the people who need the education the most will get it, build their skills and create jobs for themselves. ”

Open and Distance Learning which was formally known as (Institute of Adult Education and Institute of Continuous and Distant Education) was introduced in the 1950’s with some of our leaders participating including the first Prime Minister of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and since then, its demand has grown with citizens hunger for higher education.

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Currently, across four public universities and private institutions, there are 374,000 students involved in the ODL program with only 6,585 in the University of Ghana, and the University of Cape Coast taking the lead.

She pointed out that ODL is not only for people with some type of formal education but also for the farmer, street vendor and waakye seller who wants to be better. That is value addition and human resource development.

”Distance learning takes education to the door step of women who believe in empowering themselves’’ she discovered through research.

If education is the tool for development then developing countries need to rethink and remove roadblocks. Quality education is how you teach and empower those in need.

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”I believe in work and study, we are not adding work and study to our student culture and ODL will promote that element. Engaging in the community and the environment will help to build skills and become better rounded persons” Mrs. Kwapong added.

Ghana embarked on the distance education program to have an alternative to the traditional approach and its mission is to widen access to education and provide quality education. Distance learning can be traced back to before independence

In 1970, a correspondence program was launched on behalf of the University of Ghana, when the program reached its peak in 1976 there was a high enrollment of 5,938 students.

 

By: Sanna Terhrani

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