The Management of the University of Professional Studies, Accra has organized a one-day workshop to equip its lecturers with the requisite skill of developing a life-long learning culture among students.
The orientation, christened the ‘lecturers’ lecture’ took place on Thursday, 8th August 2019 and was in preparedness for the 2019/2020 academic year under the themed: ‘Promoting Life-Long Learning Culture Among Tertiary Students for Ghana’s Growth and Development: The Central Role of Lecturers.’
Speaking on the theme, the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission and former Rector of GIMPA, Professor Stephen Adei acknowledged that not building a life-long culture among students in the 21st century was a great disservice to humanity and akin to short-changing learners intellectually.
He noted that the first step to inculcating life-long learning culture in students is by making them participants in the teaching and learning process. He said, too often in the classroom, lecturers tend to be “performers pouring knowledge on the students” without creating the conducive environment for students to contribute to the discussion. This, the Emeritus Professor said reduces students to be mere spectators in the classroom instead of being active participants.
Recounting the importance of introducing a life-long learning strategy in our modern teaching practice, Prof Adei said: “Education without life-long culture is an intellectual handicap. Life-long learning is [also] a basic human right for individual development and empowerment. It is [therefore] the key strategy to alleviating poverty, closing income gaps, increasing productivity and ensuring national growth and development.”
The guest speaker, however, said the right learning materials (tools) must be provided to make life-long learning pleasurable to the students- as fun-filled learning increases knowledge retention. He also opined that students should be assigned to take teaching roles in the classroom in order to boost their courage for continuous learning outside school and to build their cognitive competence.
Senior Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London, Professor Fred Yamoah in his submission revealed that global higher education has shifted from the traditional teaching approach to an interactive life-long learning culture and it is imperative for Ghanaian tertiary institutions to adapt.
“I believe that it is time life-long learning is given the pivot position that is required in our quest to keep Ghana moving with the right kind of graduates. We should, however, bear in mind that inculcating life-long culture in our tertiary students is a process and may not occur overnight,” he pointed out.
Prof Yamoah called on the lecturers to be “change-changers” themselves if they are to impart on the students for a sustained life-long learning habit. He said lecturers must be seen as adding value to their products (students)- which involves reshaping their thoughts and building a self-motivated stimulus to learning.
He also charged the management of the University to formulate the right policies that seek to promotes a life-long learning culture and accord lecturers with the needed support to achieving them.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, reiterated that the lecturer’s lecture forms part of ongoing reforms aimed at making UPSA a truly professional university. He said the one-day capacity building programme was made compulsory to ensure all lecturers benefited from it as the university court for a new course in becoming regionally entrenched and globally recognized.
“Being a professional University there are standards we must adhere to. It is the reason we have assembled those who have seen it all [when it comes to academia] to tap into their ideas on how to attain excellence,” he said.
The maiden lecturers’ lecture was also attended by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charles Barnor, Deans, Heads of Departments, faculty officers and other supporting staff.