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Business News of Saturday, 19 February 2022

Source: GNA

E-learning holds the key to inclusive education - Veep

Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says e-learning holds the key to inclusive education.

He said it had become the protagonist for change in the education sector and a way of providing education to populations that otherwise would have been restricted to education due to geography, status or physical handicap.

Dr Bawumia, who made the remarks during the launch of the Leyden-Alison Integrated Online Learning Programme (IOLP) for Skills Development in Accra, said e-learning was an appropriate method to instruct students in remote areas.

The Alison - Leyden Integrated Online Learning Programme (IOLP) for Skills Development is an innovative tuition-free programme for the less privileged.

The Programme, which is in partnership with the University of Ghana, Alison Republic of Ireland and Leyden Consultancy United Kingdom, SOLNetwork and Leyden Foundation Ghana, would offer about 3,000 free certificated courses to undergraduates and professionals.

Dr Bawumia noted that despite the challenges associated with online learning, including the transition from the traditional curriculum development and classroom instructions, lack of infrastructure to digitise and transmit learning materials and appropriate human resources to implement it, it was hailed as an essential force in democratisation of education.

He stated that with the advancement of Information Communication Technology, online learning had become a feasible and economically appropriate means of extending quality education, which provided consistent and standardised training every time for all learners.

‘‘We have provided free Wi-fi to about 700 senior high schools, 46 colleges of education,260 district education offices, 13 public tertiary institutions and we are going to do more because this is the way of the future as we move into more and more online learning and access to internet,’’ he said.

The Vice President said the Government prioritised skills development and entrepreneurship, hence, the introduction of initiatives such as the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academy and the Technical, Vocational and Skill Training (TVET) to develop the skills of the youth and contribute to economic sustainability.

He stated that the country was on the move to developing an integrated set of databases to help improve the efficiency by which the country would be governed, conduct public administration, improve access to public services, improve revenue mobilisation and curb corruption.

The Vice President expressed Government’s support to the Integrated Online Programme expected to provide a tool in tackling youth unemployment in the country.

Dr James Owusu, the Executive Director, Leyden Educational Foundation, underscored the need for smart and effective investments in people’s education to develop the human capital to end extreme poverty.

At the core of the strategy, he said, was the need to tackle the learning crisis, put an end to ‘‘learning poverty’’, and help youth acquire the skills they needed to succeed.

‘‘According to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Africa has the lowest share of engineering graduates in the world. Yet, such specialised skills are needed to drive and sustain economic transformation,’’ he noted, and asked graduates to be sufficiently skilled in sectors that offered the greatest comparative advantage for economic growth.