Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey has commended faculty and students of the university for their massive support and cooperation in the roll-out of online teaching and learning systems in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said it was important the university adapted quickly to the use of new technology in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis to minimise its impact on the academic calendar.
“We’re in uncharted waters,” he said in an interview on JoyNews TV.
“The alternative to not doing this online thing [would have been] to do nothing. It is better for us to do something with all the challenges and then take it from there than do nothing at all. It may not be perfect but hopefully, we can perfect it with time.”
The Vice-Chancellor was part of a panel on Joy News to discuss educational delivery in these times of crisis when the global pandemic has disrupted almost every aspect of life in almost every country on the planet.Members of the panel included senior administrators from at least two other universities in the country.
To ensure social distancing, the interviews were conducted on the video conferencing app, Zoom with the UPSA vice-chancellor participating from his home.
Prof Amartey conceded that the initial migration of course materials unto the university’s Learning Management System (LMS) and subsequent holding of live online lectures were fraught with many challenges.
But he said he and his administration responded quickly to concerns by both students and lecturers by encouraging and enabling the pre-recorded lectures and the mounting of lecture notes on the LMS platform.
These, he said, have worked so far and brought some stability to the system.
“As I speak now teaching and learning have ended, and the end of semester examinations are scheduled to commence on May 18th,” he revealed.
On concerns raised about fees, Prof Amartey said penalties on late payments have been frozen, implying that students will now have to pay a flat penalty of one hundred cedis for late payments.
He added that the deadline for registration of courses online was extended to cater for students who were unable to do so during the partial lockdown.
In addition, he said, late registrants can still access lecture notes and pre-recorded lectures and be able to complete all assignments on the LMS.
Prof. Amartey thanked the Ministry of Education, the National Council for Tertiary Education and the National Accreditation Board for their unflinching support throughout these trying times.