The University has held a matriculation ceremony for students of the College of Distance Education (CoDE) who were admitted to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate programmes through distance for the 2019/2020 academic year at various centres in the 16 regions in the country.
A total of 13, 089 students comprising 11, 908 undergraduates and 1, 181 postgraduates were matriculated at three zones in the country. Students pursuing Education programmes at the undergraduate levels are 8,921 whiles those pursuing Business programmes are 2,988. For postgraduate studies, 402 are offering Education programmes whiles 779 are pursuing Business programmes.” In terms of gender parity for undergraduates, there had been a remarkable increase in female population from 48.3% in 2018/2019 academic year to 50.2% this academic year. For postgraduate studies, the ratio of male to female is 53.5% to 46.5%.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, in a speech read on behalf by the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dora F. Edu-Buandoh, in Kumasi for the Middle Zone said gender parity was gaining grounds in the University. He noted that it was commendable because attaining appreciable gender balance in admission of students into the distance programmes has significant socio-economic implications for the family and the society in general. As part of the move to offer flexibility and provide conducive learning environment to students, the Vice-Chancellor said the College had created new Study Centres and made some changes in the allocation of programmes to some Study Centres. He stated that two new Centres had been created at Tepa and Wenchi in Ashanti and Bono East Regions respectively. The Vice-Chancellor announced that the University had extended its services to prisoners. “As part of its outreach services, the College collaborated with Plan Volta Foundations and the Ghana Prisons Service to introduce the Prison inmates to tertiary education programmes, this academic year,” he noted. He added that a new Study Centre had been created at the Nsawam Prisons, where fifty-nine (59) inmates had been enrolled on the Diploma in Commerce (Management and Accounting Options) and Diploma in JHS Education (Science & Mathematics and English Social Studies options).
The Vice-Chancellor indicated that as part of measures to strengthen quality assurance of the College, there would be regular visits by Professors to Centres to monitor and evaluate teaching and learning during face-to-face sessions to ensure consistent mode of delivery. “The College has also introduced a weekly report format for monitoring of teaching and learning activities at all Study Centres with the aim to obtain first-hand information on the activities at the Study Centres and to enable management take informed decision on various issues at Study Centres,” he stressed. He also stated that there would be continuous training for course tutors to keep them abreast of the rudiments of facilitation.
The Vice-Chancellor hinted that the restructuring of CoDE had brought with it the introduction of new programmes and redesigning of old ones to ensure parity in the programmes offered in the University. “This will enable students to easily transfer their credits from the distance mode to the regular mode or vice versa,” he explained. In line with the new curriculum for the basic schools, he said the College had introduced new programmes such as Early Childhood Education, Primary School Education and Junior High School Education. He noted that processes had been initiated to enrol undergraduate and postgraduate programmes from the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, namely, BSc. Economics, BSc. Economics and Finance, MSc. Microfinance, MSc. Economics, MSc. Social Science, MSc. Data Management and Analysis, and MSc. Economics of Technology and Development.
Prof. Ampiah further announced that that Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programme had been mounted on distance mode at four Centres namely: Cape Coast, Accra, Kumasi and Tamale. “I encouraged all graduate non-professional teachers in the Ghana Education Service and other private institutions to take advantage of the programme because it will ultimately sharpen your competencies to ensure effective teaching and learning” he noted. Speaking on student support services, he noted that as part of efforts to address some of the challenges distance students face in the course of their studies, most of the activities of the College had been decentralised to the Regional Offices. “Regional Coordinators are available at those offices to address the needs of students at the first instance before being referred to the Main Office in Cape Coast” he informed them. The Vice-Chancellor entreated students to make maximum use of the online Student Support System to enable students to communicate their complaints to the College’s Student Records Management Unit for quick and prompt redress.
On counselling, he indicated that the College had approved four (4) senior members as professional counsellors to provide counselling services related to education, personal social needs and other of distance students. The Vice-Chancellor urged the matriculants to be disciplined and be good ambassadors of the University as they had pledged in the matriculation oath. He noted that “As Management of the University, we assure you that we shall provide an academic environment that will be conducive your studies during the period of your studentship”. He entreated them to be commitment to their studies because that would determine the quality of product that would be generated from them at the end of their programme. He also appealed to them to avoid any form of indiscipline and disorderliness for the duration of their time the University. However, he urged them commit to the primary purpose of enrolling on the programme which was to acquire knowledge and broaden their outlook orientation. “As distance students, one requirement that you cannot ignore is time management because you be will be confronted with other competing demands on your academic work,” he reminded the students.
The Vice-Chancellor urged working-class women to take advantage of the convenience and flexibility of distance education and enrol on the programmes to enhance their social, political and economic status. He indicated that were far advanced for the College to roll out a virtual classroom facility for postgraduate studies this academic year. Prof. Boampong described the facility to include video-conferencing technology and soft course modules. He hoped it would enable students to have access to lectures wherever they might be. Additional plans were underway to upload all course modules on the University’s E-learning platform and give student access to soft information.
On their academic work, he advised the students to work hard on their academic journey and make good use of the resources and facilities at their disposal. He entreated them to “Attend face-to-face sessions regularly, complete your assignments on time and take in all assessments.” He urged students to establish good study habits, read ahead of their tutorials and be punctual. The matriculation ceremony was held at four venues concurrently.
The Southern Zone One, ceremony was held at UCC Main Campus, Cape Coast for students from Central and Western Regions. The Southern Zone Two comprising students from Greater Accra, Volta and Oti Regions and some parts of Eastern Region had their matriculation at the CoDE Study Centre at Papafio, Accra. Students from the Middle Zone which is made up of Ashanti, Bono East, Ahafo, Western North, Eastern and part of the Central Regions converged at Wesley College of Education, in Kumasi for the ceremony. The Northern Zone, comprising students from the Northern, Savwhiles those from the Northern Zone and they include,