The essence of technology is to solve problems. However, we admit that technologies may fail, but they should not repeatedly fail mankind in an attempt to improve his general condition.
The University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), rolled out its e-learning platform on a full-scale in response to the abrupt closure of schools announced by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on March 15, 2020. The President’s decision was due to the rapid spread of the Covid-19.
The virtual platform is no doubt a good initiative by the management of the school and we would like to laud them for that exceptional idea. But it had many serious challenges.
Even though an excellent response to the school closure, the challenges of the Virtual Platform ranged from internet access to grave inefficiencies and malfunctions. There was also the problem of students’ inability to access the site due to late payment of school fees. Fact is, the problems were many.
Perhaps, the visible nature of the problems was because it was a fairly new system and as they say, technology will always fail. But, we must not let it fail us every time, especially at the time they matter the most.
But, despite these challenges, students managed to take their end of year exams using the platform. We say kudos to them.
With barely days to the roll-out of courses for the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic year on the virtual platform after the President announced the reopening of schools, UPSANEWSROOM.com wants to encourage management to improve the site by addressing the grave challenges faced by the students. Once more, about 50% of the semester’s academic work would be done on the e-learning platform and this calls for a robust system.
However, UPSANEWSROOM.com is appalled by the absence of formal communication from either the school or the Students’ Representative Council (SRC)’s Interim Management Committee (IMC), informing and assuring students of changes and improvements made to the virtual platform. This is not good enough.
Whilst the students have a duty to pay their fees on time, the school has a corresponding obligation to provide a congenial environment that encourages and promotes effective teaching and learning. This is non-negotiable.
There is, therefore, no time on the side of both students and lecturers. The earlier students are assured of an improved e-learning platform, the better. This will help to reduce their stress.
UPSANEWSROOM.com, therefore, wants to encourage the management of the school to, as a matter of urgency, give some assurance to the students before full-time lectures begin on the virtual platform next week.
OHENEBA NANA OSEI KUMI,
Managing News Editor, UPSANEWSROOM