NEWSGIJ SRC calls for suspension of online academic activities

GIJ SRC calls for suspension of online academic activities

The Students Representative Council of the Ghana Institute of Journalism is asking school management to halt its ongoing e-learning programme until it resolves all outstanding challenges pertaining with the migration of academic activities online.

They also want the university management to rescind on its decision to allow students write their end of semester exams online.

In a petition from the SRC to school management, although it has already drawn the attention of school authorities on those challenges, enough has not been done to address them.

The SRC says that challenges such as high data cost, poor network in some areas, and the overload of assignments on students by some lecturers have not been resolved by school management.

“Since the institution of social distancing by the state over the past few weeks, Management has maintained that academic work continues on the internet. This move has over the weeks raised so much unrest among students due to a number of concerns particularly, high data costs, poor network in some areas and the overload of assignments on students by some lecturers. There also remains the issue of persons who do not have smart phones or laptops for such endeavours as well as the psychological unrest on the part of many due to the entire COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, the SRC made these concerns available to Management and asked for interventions. While online studies are being carried out, it is unfortunate that most of these issues still remain, making the e-learning ineffective in achieving the desired purpose,” part of the petition reads.

The SRC adds that a survey it has conducted among students show that they are not happy with the roll-out of the e-learning programme, hence, the need to suspend it.

Per a survey conducted by the Executive Committee, majority of students are not happy with the current
situation and are therefore calling for the suspension of the e-learning initiative. In view of this, the Students Representative Council calls for the suspension of online lectures and subsequently the end-ofsemester examinations until the following provisions are made.

1. Management should partner with at least two telecommunication companies to provide free access to a designated website(s) or application which will be solely used for online teaching and
learning. And lectures should be migrated to the designated website(s).

2. Management should give an assurance and a clear-cut mode of assessment for students who may
not be able to partake in the online examinations at no extra cost. This request is so because per
precedence (thus, the issue of fee payment that resulted in a demonstration on campus, management gave the assurance that students who had missed some papers would be given the opportunity to re-write, however, it turned out that the results were not graded on three credit hour basis),
students have doubts that persons who miss the exams will be treated fairly.

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3. Questions to be set for the examinations should be based on topics that were taught before the
outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

4. Management should send bulk SMS to all students to inform them about the end-of-semester
online examinations and indicate a contact number for students to call in case they cannot partake
in the examinations due to some genuine reasons. This will even make it easier for Management
to better compile a list of persons who cannot partake in the online examinations.

5. After the configuration of free website(s), piloting should be done for a minimum of three days to
ascertain the effectiveness of such platforms before their full employment for academic activities.

6. The online examinations should be open to all students since not all students were able to do the
online registration before the suspension of physical lectures. Some students had genuine concerns about their fee payment and online registration for their courses which could not be looked
at due to the sudden suspension of physical activities at the time.

Imagine paying school fees and buying data for online lectures at the same time.

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