The Institute for Distance Education (IDeL) of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has organised a four-day intensive workshop for coordinators and administrators from its 45 centres across the country to enable it to take stock of the years activities and engage in a series of lined up training programmes in furtherance its goals.
The workshop was held at Wadoma Royale Hotel in Abuakwa, Kumasi.
Speaking to participants at the opening, on the purpose of the workshop, Deputy Registrar, IDeL, Mr. William Agyei-Bieni, said that the workshop was to enable the institute to take stock of events in the year and to enable it re-strategise and adapt in the coming year to maintain its hold as a market leader in distance education delivery.
In his address to participants, Director of IDeL, Prof. Francis Owusu-Mensah, advised them to pay utmost attention to everything that would be done at the workshop, indicating that the institute is very serious about positioning itself to consolidate its market leadership position in the industry; providing quality distance and e-learning programmes to its numerous clients.
“So, we are in the business of building quality human resource for our nation, Ghana and the world at large. The business we have at hand is very crucial and so, we meet routinely to take stock of our activities to improve.”
He indicated that so far, the participants had been very hardworking and up to the task in their assigned schedules but he was quick to caution that the task ahead was going to be even more difficult as the institute plans to re-open for tutorials at the centres in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re going to interact with people from different backgrounds, communities, families, and locations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. You’re indeed going to be frontline educational workers.”
Your work is going to move beyond just keeping records, collation of scores, attendance sheet and others to even checking of temperatures, making sure that hand sanitizers, soaps, tissues, and veronica buckets are well placed; and making sure that students who come to the study centres observe the COVID-19 protocols and etiquettes. You know how difficult some of our students can be and you have to be up to the task,” he stressed.
He said that the institute would put in place COVID-19 response teams at the various centres and provide the basic necessities as a precaution to fighting the disease. He affirmed that these will come with comprehensive guidelines and policy to regulate activities at the various centres.
“What happens if you check someone’s temperature and it’s consistently high? These and many other intriguing questions, the policy must answer. The dynamics have changed completely and you’re going to be at the forefront of the implementation of the policy. This is the time that we’d need you to be very responsible and tactful. It also requires excellent human relations. We’re going to work together with heads of host institutions and their staff to succeed.”
Prof. Owusu-Mensah reiterated the University’s determination to ensuring that its clients all over the country are very well protected. This, he noted was a shared responsibility among all stakeholders. He encouraged participants to ensure that they were actively involved in all activities at the workshop to understand and to guarantee a smooth implementation of resolutions and policies for the growth of the institute.
He intimated that other critical issues to be discussed bothered on timetabling and managing the numbers or student presence in the classrooms to ensure effective social distancing; ensuring proper identification of students at the centres to determine who indeed is a student and who is coming around to endanger the lives of students; and intensive training on the use of the students Learning Management System (LMS) which has become central to distance education and e-learning, particularly at this COVID-!9 era.