The Management of the Institute for Distance Education and e-Learning (IDeL), University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has organised a day’s interactive workshop at Wadoma Royale Hotel in Abuakwa, Kumasi, for Heads of Host Institutions of the various centres of the institute.
The interactive workshop was to strengthen the bond between the two parties and to discuss germane issues of mutual interest to sustain and deepen the programmes at the various centres.
Addressing participants on the purpose of the workshop, the Director of IDeL, Prof. Francis Owusu-Mensah, explained that when he took over some two years ago as Director of IDel, he observed that the Heads of Host Institution of IDeL were not showing interest in the programmes of the institute at their respective institutions.
He averred that the institute felt the prevailing circumstance was wrong, hence the institution of the periodic interaction to allow the Management of the University, IDeL and the Heads of Host Institutions, who happen to be the supervisors of the programme at their institutions to engage in frank discussions so that, together they could help provide quality distance education to the doorsteps of Ghanaians.
“When we met for the first time, we’d interesting revelations; the coordinators had taken over. They weren’t informing Heads of Host Institutions about anything happening at the centres so, they didn’t know what was going on hence their disinterest in the programmes. We felt that it was wrong and so, we decided to institute this interaction to enable Heads own the programmes at their centres.
“We are meeting at a time where things aren’t normal. There are a lot of issues to be discussed as we prepare to reopen. It is, therefore, necessary to meet, discuss and agree on certain principles, policy and guidelines to regulate our resumption of activities at your institutions in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Ag. Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Andy Ofori-Birikorang, who addressed participant on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Rev. Professor Anthony Afful-Broni, welcome Heads of Host Institutions to the workshop and thanked them for the cooperation IDeL has enjoyed operating in their respective institutions for all this while.
He reminded participants that the relationship between the host institutions and the University had come a long way, transitioning from the point where the relationship was just tenant-landlord to the current era, based on partnership which could never be underrated because partnership put the two parties on equal footing.
“As we have met here, I don’t want anybody to treat the workshop as the Management of the University or IDeL providing information to participants. After all, there are people here who are of the same level and rank as us. I believe that the positions you all occupy are positions that put all of us on equal footing. That’s why we have to see each other as partners rather than landlords and tenants,” he professed.
Prof. Ofori-Birikorang, praised participants for their involvement and supervision of teaching on fora that had never been anticipated but which became necessary as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to whether the storm and to bring the semester for students of distance education to a logical conclusion.
The Registrar, Surv. Paul Osei-Barima, Esq., expressed the determination of the University to consolidate its position as a market leader in the delivery of quality distance education in the country and therefore, a proposal had been tabled before the University Council to upgrade IDeL into a college to enable it discharge its functions more efficiently.
He said that it is well known that COVID-19 had changed the game for every institution, their way of life and made distance learning an imperative. “While we are here, whatever issues that are raised are meant for stronger relationships and development of our partnership,” he stressed.
He expression satisfaction for how the workshop had dialogued to find a common ground for the resolution of issues raised.
The discussion session of the workshop saw participants raise a number of pertinent issues and concerns which were duly resolved to the satisfaction of both parties at the workshop.