Tertiary Education In Covid

Government projected to admit 200,000 SHS students in tertiary institutions in the 2020/21 academic year. We predicted a maximum of 150,000, exclusive some 100,000 Diplomates who shall be enrolling for Bachelors degrees (normally sandwich), out of which 68,000 are expected from the Colleges of Education. Realistically, about 250,000 require tertiary admissions this academic year.

This requires an increase in admissions capacity by about 60%, compared to 2019/20. There are about 215 private and public tertiary institutions across the country. To achieve this, the Eric Nyarko Sampson Committee set up by government to advice on the use of Virtual Learning Systems/Technologies (VLST) to expand access to tertiary recommended an upgrade/ development of VLS/T and HR capacity in tertiary institutions.

The ability of the tertiary education sector to admit the 250,000 relies heavily on the attainment of these two targets, together with the provision of quality assurance mechanisms to ensure zero dichotomy in the quality and effectiveness of instruction administered to both in-person and virtual learners. The Committee consequently recommends that entry level requirements must be the same for in-person and virtual students.

Months after the Committee’s work, our checks reveal over 35% of public tertiary institutions are not ready, as many who already have VLS/T are even struggling.

The University of Cape Coast which currently enrolls over 60,000 recently had to recall students to campus to redo in-person, semester exams which were initially administered virtually.

Our projection is, the only way the tertiary sector can admit the numbers this year is to do at least 30% virtual learning admissions in addition to the hybrid, sandwich-virtual schools, and in-person.

School reopens 2nd week in January. Are our institutions ready?

Do public tertiary institutions have the technology to undertake formative and summative assessment (quiz, IA, end of sem exam) using VLS/T and detect or prevent malpractices as done in Ashesi?

Do our lecturers have the capacity to teach, and assess using VLS/T?

Do students have the capacity to effectively participate in VL and achieve the same learning outcomes as their in-person colleagues as recommended?

Kindly share lessons from your school.