In an ideal world where humanity is uncertain on their next course of action, a promise to bring smiles to hearts which have been disgruntled should be met with wild applause. The pledge to bring hope to a people filled with despair should be hailed for so many reasons.
Few months now, the world has not been as it used to be with serious threat on socioeconomic activities not to talk much of health evolving solely by courtesy of the novel coronavirus (SARS – COV 2), the causative organism for the deadly pandemic; COVID-19.
Renowned economists have predicted the downfall of economic health of world economies and a worse case scenario, a recession.
Persons have being traumatized psychologically, cut-off their meals and others losing their loved ones to the deadly pandemic.
World leaders together with scientists are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to produce vaccine to terminate the spread of the coronavirus if not finding cure.
Mixed reactions generated among student leaders when institutional managers acted on the directives of the President of the Republic of Ghana in respect to rolling out e-learning platforms.
Arguments by the opposing school of thought is not on the initiative itself but the potential challenges associated with the innovation anticipated to keep lecturers and students busy whiles the pandemic still hovers around our necks.
I have seen and read press releases from multiple sources including but not limited to releases from; National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Concerned Tertiary Students – Ghana, Amalgamation of Tertiary Students – Ghana, not to left out our own local association Coalition of Concern Students of KsTU.
I will not want to take them on due to their position together with some students calling for a total halt of the initiative until all potential and known challenges are solved or to some the whole e-learning process aborted, because treading solely on emotions and not advancement in technology, one will believe we are not very sound to engage learning which is one of the activities much requiring sound mind.
What I couldn’t digest upon reading all the said releases is the fact that, all the unions and associations tend to be whistle blowers rather than being leaders who have the capacity to solve problems and challenges. I will agree with their position only if they are able to through data and science convince me the known and potential challenges are beyond their capacity as student leaders to solve. To mention a few without not reminding them that we are not in normal times and compromises should be considered in all our decision making, I do not believe that;
– Students inability to access the internet or poor internet accessibility is beyond the capacity of students leaders to solve – which in my little perspective; students can either purchase a SIM card from a Telco with strong network within their vicinity or walk few miles to access better network connectivity. Remember we are all compromising
– Students not having the required resources for the e-learning – smartphones, personal computers, and in some cases data bundle have being some of the reasons while academics by the position of opposing school of thought must be halted until COVID-19 is over which you and I do not know exactly when this is going to happen. Not disputing the fact that COVID-19 is a contagious disease and it spread is common, we can also not dispute the fact that even in the era of COVID-19, brothers and sisters still eat together, sleep together and others even use the same sponge and towels in their homes and nothing in commonsense must stop these students from borrowing their relatives resources (smartphones, personal computers, etc) in accessing this e-learning platforms and at the same time adhering to the precautionary measures as preached by the WHO and its sister institutions; washing your hands regularly with soap under running water, avoid touching your face, using alcohol based hand sanitizer, wearing face mask, avoiding crowd, wearing gloves, etc.
-Students are traumatized and are unsound to take studies serious – For weeks now, I had tried to convince myself that indeed students are not sound to take studies serious and any attempts to overburdened them with studies might be detrimental to their mental health; but in all these weeks, I couldn’t fathom the basis of the argument. I asked myself a simple question, “if students are not sound to take studies, then how much more our frontline workers”? Have we heard of an overdose of drugs been administered by any of our frontline workers because he/she is unsound? No. If no, then students have no case to buttress their point.
– Most students do not know how to use these e-learning resources – this point to me is unjustifiable. Let me not hesitate to remind student leaders that dues paid by students are not only for event organization,among others. In this difficult times as we are all compromising, students leaders would loose nothing if such funds (students dues) are invested in practical videos or any other demonstrating how these resources can be use effectively and efficiently.
With student leaders doing nothing or less to help policy makers keep educational institutions running in this era of COVID-19, fear grasped me as to the future of our country. These students and their leaders who are fiercely rejecting e-learning have in their plan after school 99% travelling abroad to the developed world should the opportunity comes to continue their education forgetting e-learning is one of the modules for teaching and learning in these developed countries. Their position to buttress this decision is that, the developed world are advanced in this e-learning modalities and all potential challenges have been curtailed forgetting the so-called developed world did not wake up overnight to have this robust systems but rather constant practice and investment.
Whiles coronavirus still hides on your front door, I do not want to burden you with information. I end by leaving you with this strong adage from our forebears, “3mere nni ho ma nnipa, na wo de ahoahoa wo ho”, to wit, “Time and tide wait for no man”.
Until we meet again, #StayAtHome #StopTheSpread #LetEndCOVID-19 believing #ThisTooShallPass
©️ Copyright 2020
A student of KsTU