An Integrated Online Learning Program (IOLP) offering over 3,000 free, certificated courses and industry attachment for the youth and professionals has been launched by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
To be run by the University of Ghana in collaboration with international partners including Alison, Leyden Educational Foundation and SOLNetwork, the IOLP is designed to make teaching and learning virtually, in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic easier, more convenient and more readily available, especially for teachers and students in rural areas.
Unveiling the programme at the University of Ghana on Monday, February 14, 2022 Vice President Bawumia welcomed the opportunity to provide employable skills and entrepreneurship training and development for the youth,
“In the wake of the COVID-19, with all its socio-economic disruptions, many countries and educational institutions have turned to online learning. To be expected, these initiatives whereby learners can communicate with their instructors and their peers and access learning materials over the internet or other computing networks, have met with several challenges.
“Another challenge is the lack of infrastructure to digitize and transmit learning materials, as well as having the appropriate human resources to implement E-learning initiatives. Even as the demands for E-learning is growing we are faced with both the human resources constraint, the physical hardware as well as the soft infrastructure.
“With the speed of implementation of E-learning, public policy makers, school administrators, teachers and students all appear to have been caught in the fog of e-learning. What are we doing right? What are we not doing right? Are all subjects adaptable to an e-learning environment? Why and why not? What is the peer learning experience? What is the classroom of the future and how effective have we been?
“These challenges notwithstanding, E-learning is hailed as an essential force in democratizing education. It holds the key to inclusive education. It is a way of opening education to populations who otherwise would have restricted access to education because of geography, status or physical handicap. E-learning is an appropriate method to instruct students in remote areas, which involves all types of learning and skills development” he emphasized.
The advancement of ICT has called for online learning as a feasible and economically appropriate means of extending quality higher education, Dr Bawumia Bawumia pointed out, offering a number of benefits including saving time and money, better retention of taught material, and consistent and standardized training every time for every learner.
“Integrated Online learning is also scalable. We can roll Online Learning to as many employees as needed and is a one-time investment. The more learners take the course, the lower the per unit costs and the faster you can write off the expense,” he explained.
It also offers personalization, meeting the unique preferences and learning goals of each learner. It allows learners to choose their learning path and navigate at their own pace. When they decide what to learn and when, they remain invested in the course.
“Finally, skills development through Integrated Online Learning provides a tool to tackling youth unemployment. The government of Ghana prioritizes skills development and entrepreneurship and therefore supports the Integrated Online Learning Program” Vice President Bawumia declared.
The Executive Director of Leyden Educational Foundation, Mr James Boakye, said the Programme had been designed to assist Government address the huge challenge of unemployment, made worse by the pandemic, by providing the citizens with employable skills and relevant knowledge.
He commended Government for its ongoing digitization drive, which would serve as the anchor for the success of the Programme.