General News of Monday, 3 January 2011

Source: GNA

33,000 students pursue distance learning programmes at UCC

Cape Coast, Jan.3, GNA- A total of 33,000 people with close to 20,000 offering education and the rest business programmes, are currently pursuing higher education through distance learning at the University of Cape Coast (UCC).

Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, Vice-Chancellor of UCC, who said launched the 10th anniversary of the Distance Learning Programme being implemented by the UCC's Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) at the UCC= on Monday, said it was the University's contribution towards ensuring nation= al growth She said the University had offered an opportunity for a large number of workers to raise their professional competence as well as academic statu= s to contribute to the socio-economic development of the nation. The week-long celebration is on the theme: 93Distance Education for National Development: reflections on a decade of operations in the University of Cape Coast", and would be observed among others with lectur= es and matriculation of fresh students.

Beneficiaries of the programme are mostly teachers, personnel of the Ghana Education Service and other public institutions. She pointed out that the impact of the UCC's distance learning had been tremendous and that research was on-going to make it more relevant to current trends. The VC announced that the CCE would soon introduce a masters' progra= mme in Business Administration.

"Through this, we will offer even more flexible offerings to compleme= nt our regular and sandwich options at the post graduate levels", she declar= ed. The Vice-Chancellor noted that the current global trends was an indication that collaboration is no longer a choice but an imperative and pledged the UCC's preparedness to share its wealth of experience with oth= er players to provide high caliber workers for the growth of the country. She said a permanent centre being constructed in Accra at a total cost of 3,387,424.84 Ghana Cedis, is being funded from the University's internally generated funds and that it will be replicated in all the other Regions to provide comfortable and adequate lecture space for all students. Prof. Opoku-Agyemang paid glowing tribute to the initiators of the Distance Learning Programme, particularly the current Director of the CCE, Mr. Koomson Albert, for his dedication and hard work that had sustained the programme as well as the entire staff and pledged that the University will ensure that more people gained access to higher education.

She also stressed the need for the mode of delivery of the Programme t= o be done through multi media and electronic instead of print to avoid the situation where infrastructure may be a barrier to knowledge acquisition. On the discovery of oil and gas in the country, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang called on other sister Universities to combine forces and develop programme= s relating to that field to help churn out qualified manpower for the industr= y which she described as 93interdisciplinary in nature". The chairman of the CCE board of directors, Professor Dominic Kuupole, said the Programme had raised the image of the UCC not only in the country but in the sub-region and added that currently, the Centre runs 13 educatio= n and eight business programmes with about 2,000 qualified course tutors. Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, Dean of the faculty of Education, who presided, applauded the relevance of distance education in the country's development indicating that it was a strong determinant in the quality and quantity of talents to be harnessed for national growth.