A new wind is blowing and there is a new day which every human being is trying to adjust to. Coronavirus is here with us and every individual and institution is left with no other option than to get themselves acclimatized with the current trends in life. The education sector is not an exception in all these and with all academic activities halted, the sector is left with no other option than to adopt the online tuition which is an essential way to prevent interferences in the academic calendar. An Ewe adage says that one must dance to the rhythm of the drum that comes with modernization.
Colleges of Education are not an exception in this current trends in education since necessity they say make the butcher kill the cat instead of the cow but in the killing of both animals, knife is a necessary tool to be used. Money is largely involved in the rolling out of this online tuition. Students in the various Colleges are finding it difficult to get money to purchase data for the virtual learning. They therefore advocate for stimulus packages from the Colleges in the form of data bundle to enable them participate in the studies. We all know that economic activities have come to a standstill and getting money from our parents in this abnormal times is very difficult.
Part of the utility and the accommodation components of the school fees can be diverted to serve this purpose. As we are all aware, the traditional universities like the University of Ghana embarked on a data package mechanism to lift the financial burden on the students in terms of buying data. Colleges of Education are not different from the various traditional universities. We, therefore, call on the various players in the education sector to see this as a matter of urgency and address this issue. Peki College of Education SRC in a letter submitted to Management on the 13th of April 2020 pleaded with the Management of the College to address the issue on the cost of data package to enable students participate in the virtual learning since we doubt the financial strength of students on purchasing data if this pandemic persist. We, therefore, suggested to the Management to do something similar to what University of Ghana and others are doing for students of Peki College of Education. In order to ensure students participation in the virtual learning and also to free them from economic hardship, I urge the various players in the education sector to roll out data packages for students in the various Colleges of Education. What will be the end result if tutors teach with only a small number of students participating as a result of the difficulties in getting money to buy data.
The Virtual learning comes with numerous challenges such as the concern of students in poor network areas, students without smart phone, lack of concentration as a result of house chores, the absence of reading materials and many more including the well elaborated points on data packages but in as much as we view the negative side of this, it comes with positive effect too and the positivity outweighs the negativity. A bird in hand they say is better than two worth in the bush. We can solve this problem since we have a solution available before looking at how to solve the others.
We therefore hope that our voices and grievances concerning the data package is promptly addressed to enable students participate in the studies.
I will like to acknowledge Mr. Mprah Yao David and other students who encouraged the writing of this piece. My sincere gratitude also goes to the SRC Cabinet of Peki College of Education led by Mr. Cobbinah Isaac for always fighting the course of training competent and holistic leaders with their leadership prowess.
Ador Marvelous Kofi
(SRC Chief Whip)
Peki College of Education