Mr. George Akom, an Assistant Registrar of the Ghana Technology University College (GTUC) has stated that it would be more benevolent for TV Station owners especially the numerous religious TV Stations to support Government’s TV Learning Project which has been launched to support teaching and learning in this current situation of COVID 19 outbreak.
He continued that since the announcement was made to close down all levels of educational institutions for both public and private schools in Ghana because of COVID 19 outbreak, it has become a nightmare for the government, the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to get the best alternative approach to engage students at their various locations outside the normal classroom to continue their studies and prepare for their various examinations especially for the Pre Tertiary level.
He added that whiles various tertiary educational institutions, especially some universities have adopted online teaching and learning approaches, the case of the Pre Tertiary level has been different.
He further indicated that amidst all the challenges at the Pre Tertiary level to introduce online teaching and learning models, the government of Ghana through the Ghana Education Service has also introduced Ghana Learning TV as a virtual learning channel which would serve as a complementary alternative for learners at the Senior High and some Technical and Vocational Schools in Ghana.
He stressed that although, the virtual learning comes with a dedicated TV Channel with 24-hour broadcast and a structured time table which is a good initiative at this moment of the pandemic, accessibility and availability in terms of the channel, and reliable and constant supply of electricity to homes, the commitment and self-dedication on the part of students to avail themselves for lessons, and parents willingness to dedicate their TV Sets especially households with one TV Set for such lessons would be a bane to the successful implementation of the Ghana TV Learning Project.
He emphasized that the options available for learners to switch alternatively to other TV Stations for entertainment programs like movies, telenovelas, musical concerts, and other interesting ones would not bring out the total effectiveness the project sought to achieve.
He continued that TV learning has not been part and parcel of many Ghanaian students, and for that matter would require a shared responsibility among all stakeholders for the project; MoE, GES, Parents, Ministry of Communications and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in making this project a successful one.
He mentioned again that the key responsibility lies with parents to make sure that their wards follow the designed time table for lessons. He averred that TV learning has been in existence for quite a long time and used for many instructional delivery purposes across the world, it still comes with its advantages and disadvantages across the various levels of education and purpose.
“Considering the nature of TV learning for children, it is more effective for those who are committed and have the motivation to study independently, and under strict responsible parents who would make sure that their wards benefit from such learning.
If freedom and self –independence are given to learners, especially to children with varieties of choices for TV channels without lay down rules and strict supervision, the effectiveness for such learning situation would not be achieved”, Mr. Akom stated.
He emphasized that considering the number of TV stations and channels we have in Ghana and owned by the state, groups, and individuals especially religious groups, if these TV stations come in to support the project by dedicating some hours within the day simultaneously to show lessons, it would provide access, wider coverage and even limits the options learners would have in switching from one station to the other under the pretense of avoiding lessons or getting alternative programs to watch.
He opined that it would not be out of place for GES in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications to liaise with the various TV stations and other TV channels to get them involved for mutual benefit by giving some tax relief for such times that the stations would telecast lessons.
Mr. Akom charged TV Station owners to also exhibit their patriotism and benevolence in this time of socio – economic crisis because of the pandemic, by dedicating their channels for the Ghana Learning TV as a means of their contributions in a similar manner that others are supporting the fight against the COVID 19 through donations and provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s).
He concluded that the way we are concerned about our economy during and after COVID 19, we should also be concerned about our education which is the foundation for human resource and national development.