Advancement in technology and the evolution of the internet have led to a new approach of learning and training termed as E- Learning.
As Universities are closed down due to COVID-19 pandemic, this mode of learning has become desirable than ever. But questions remain as to how effective it is.
According to a 2006 UNESCO report, the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for disseminating of education is believed to have huge potential for governments struggling to meet the growing demand for education while facing escalating shortages of teachers ( UNESCO 2006)
In 2006, an ICT in education policy was drafted by the MoE . This policy made compulsory the use and teaching of ICT at the primary and secondary level of education, an indication of the governments commitment to E-Learning and as recently seen by incumbent government in their support towards E-learning.
The government in one way or the other is ensuring that education and institutions are keeping up with technology and innovation.
E-Learning has become crucial in this trying times as all schools have been closed down.
Lecturers have been asked to complete their syllabuses and continue to teach , and administer quizzes remotely.
Though computer literacy has improved tremendously, we still have major challenges in using online tools for teaching and learning and access to the internet is also a big issue.
These challenges include instructors who don’t have the skills to teach, scarce electronic content, poor/lack of internet connectivity, expensive internet services provided by the various telecommunications, limited access to computers, low computer literacy and perhaps frequent blackout in some areas.
For institution to go digital, they need to have invested in online teaching and learning platforms, digital libraries and internet access.
It is also imperative that students get the necessary equipment for it. Most students in this days rely on telephones and cyber café where they download materials and study offline.
Students living in major cities may not be affected more than those living in remote areas. A significant number of students living in remote areas have no access to the internet. They are cutt off from the Universities.
These challenges means that probable, only students in urban areas will benefit from the transition to online learning.
Moving forward, the government needs to invest in or direct universities to increase their investment in E- Learning resources both physical and human.
This investment can be achieved through the subsidies with internet bundles, access to resources such as digital library, .
Lecturers and students need the technical skills to function in this new environment.
The future of Learning is likely to become increasingly digital, regardless of the pandemic. Institutions should therefore invest in E-learning, not just as a temporary measure to cover the remainder of the syllabus, but as a major component of teaching and learning going forward.
By: Wilford Akwasi Asare
Bachelor of Commerce -400 (UDS Wa Campus).
LAISON Officer – UDS debate society.
Local Committee President, AIESEC UDS(2019-2020).
Introducing Broker, FXTM
CEO – Mazifresh LLC