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General News of Monday, 8 January 2018


Cape Vars Pro-VC proposes restrictions on access to WhatsApp

Prof George K.T Oduro, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast play videoProf George K.T Oduro, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast is suggesting a nationwide restriction on the use of WhatsApp during working hours.

Prof George K.T Oduro believes it is one of the ways to ensure teacher productivity as the nation struggles to improve the quality of education, stressing equitable investment in education will be meaningless and probably not yield the desired results if “teachers do not also act proportionately to the investment.

He was speaking at the 5th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers, GNAT in Cape Coast.

According to Prof Oduro, a lot of teachers use their teaching hours to browse the internet, especially exchanging messages on WhatsApp instead of focusing on impacting knowledge to their students.

“If teachers will be spending their teaching hours in browsing WhatsApp messages, something that is happening, then we cannot maximize the benefits of equitable distribution,” he said.

Government has been exploring ways of improving the quality of education in the country with the introduction of the free Senior High School Policy. There are also policies being considered to rein in teacher lateness and absenteeism, which have been found to be very rampant in public schools.

In a move that could be very controversial and amount to curtailing freedom of expression in the country, Prof Oduro is urging government to consider restricting the use of social media, especially WhatsApp.

“I am tempted to propose for consideration if government can in a way put restriction on access to WhatsApp during working days, so that you only gain access to WhatsApp after working hours,” he said.

The proposal by the Prof may most likely meet very stiff opposition from a Ghanaian society that uses the platform for diverse activities including business transactions, political discussions and civil society activism.

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