The Ministry of Education (MOE) has commenced the implementation of virtual learning programmes to ensure students have access to learning resources during the school break amid the novel coronavirus global pandemic.
The Minister of Education, Hon Mathew Opoku Prempeh disclosed at a presser on Tuesday that learning programmes would be launched on all medium such as radio, television and online with assistance from the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Information.
The Minister explained that the decision to deploy the learning programmes on muti platforms was to ensure no student would be left outÂ because of the inaccessibility to access a particular platform at a particular destination.
The Education Minister said that through the Ministry of Communications, all telecommunications companies can zero rate content delivery concerning education so that Ghanaian students will benefit and participate with zero cost.
He added that with the help of the Ministry of Information, radio and television stations will see the national urgency in cooperating to ensure that educational content is aired. He stated when he took his turn to brief the media on measures of the Ministry concerning coronavirus outbreak and how education in Ghana is been handled.
The Minister expressed joy that Vodafone Ghana was already zero-rating educational materials, “meaning that if you hook onto an educational space on that data, it is virtually for free.”
In addition, he said, some television stations had 24-hour channels that they could dedicate to the ministry for content delivery and were looking forward to seeing the rest do same.
“We need more free to air broadcast so that everybody, everywhere in the country can access once they have television,” the minister stated.
Dr Mathew Prempeh gave an assurance that the ministry, together with the other partnering ministries, was dedicated to collaborating with radio stations in providing content broadcast to all levels of students, from KG to SHS.
Giving a background, Dr Prempeh explained that following the shutdown of schools on the directive of the President, the ministry was tasked with rolling out online programmes and distance learning in collaborations with the Ministry of Communication.
Consequently, a team was constituted comprising the Ministry of Education, the National Council for Tertiary Education, the University of Ghana, the University of Education, Winneba the Ghana Education Service, the Centre for National Distance Learning and Open Schooling (CENDLOS), the Ghana Library Authority and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment to come up with the solutions in the short, medium and long terms.
Dr Prempeh explained that the team was also to ensure that whatever content that would be developed â€śevery learner in Ghana can participate.â€ť
He added: â€śThe team was also tasked to bring out solutions, as well as conceptualise effective and feasible solutions for the short, medium and long terms. They were to explore and ensure its appropriate content and resources for both pre-tertiary and tertiary institutions,â€ť he explained.
He said the appropriateness of the content was very relevant because there were lots of content on open education resources available that might not be appropriate, â€śand so we needed to guide and guard what we broadcast to Ghanaian students.â€ť
Availability of content
Dr Prempeh gave an assurance that when the programme was finally rolled out, the periods for the broadcast would be made known for pupils from KG up to those in senior high school.
He announced that CENDLOS had developed an online programme on all the core contents in the senior high school curriculum and had given every student a password and access to an iCampus.
â€śCurrently, all SHS and TVET students (approximately 1.2 million students) are on the iCAMPUS system (www.icampusgh.com). The resources on the system include 810 notes with exercises, 20,800 interactive quizzes, 600 audio-visual lessons, 540 units interactive lessons, virtual laboratory practicals and simulations and over 3,000 sets of notes and audio-visual Open Educational Resource (OER) materials,â€ť Dr Prempeh disclosed.