The Registrar of the Accra Institute of Technology (AIT), Mr Dominic Osei-Boakye, says the physical campuses of the university remain closed despite the easing of the restrictions on Covid -19 pandemic by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
According to him, the campuses will only be opened to people who want to make admission enquiries and students who need special services.
President Akufo-Addo on Sunday in his 10th address to the nation on May 31, 2020 gave a green light to universities in the country to resume lectures on June 15, 2020.
But a statement issued and signed by the AIT Registrar, said the President’s easing of restrictions was prudent but their students will continue to study and write their examinations through their e-learning system.
He stressed that AIT has all the technological systems in place to continue to run the university online without meeting students physically.
“We wish to inform all stakeholders that our physical campuses will remain closed to all stakeholders except people making admission enquiries and students who need special services. AIT has all the technological systems in place to continue to run the university online without meeting students physically. We have successfully run the university using our systems since the ban commenced.
“The university has a Learning Management System dubbed ‘LEMASS’ which is effectively utilised in the delivery of online teaching and learning modes for our students,” The AIT Registrar noted.
He added that “these systems were not developed as a mere survival measure, as it were, for COVID-19 as in the case of several struggling universities. In fact, these technological systems cannot be developed in weeks or months to solve specific problem at a time. Development of such systems and solutions takes years of dedication, discipline and commitment to arrive at a working system fit for the specific educational purpose. The AIT success story of implementing technology in education predates COVID-19 back to 2009 when it was the only University in Ghana that had a system, which allowed students to submit assignments, access electronic library, partake in quizzes etc. Lecturers in the university could grade their work online and assess their students in whatever form using the same system.
“Therefore, a ban on physical contact with students had zero impact on their operations since they were already using systems. All the university had to do was to deploy these systems with very few modifications due to the pandemic in order to better serve our students.
“In an effort to eliminate any physical interaction between students and the faculty of AIT while still realising the same outcomes of the teaching and learning experience, the institution deployed a clearly stated protocol to better streamline the entire online learning experience. The AIT Protocol for the Delivery of the Online Teaching and Learning Program stipulates the five different components of the process namely: Online (Asynchronous) Teaching and Learning, Online (Synchronous) Class Sessions (OCS), Scheduled Online Interaction Sessions (OIS) with learners on pre-planned topics, issues) and/or general issues during Scheduled Online Office Hours of Instructor, Scheduled Online Forum Sessions (FSO) with Instructor and Online Feedback Sessions (OFBS) with Instructor.”
Mr Osei-Boakye said the health and safety committee of AIT believes that it is still very risky to bring students together, adding that it is even more difficult following the announced protocols to ensure their safety.
“We have the safety of our students as our top priority that is why we have for the past 10 years used technology to educate our students which reduces significantly over reliance on physical contact. We believe that this is the right time for our students to enjoy all the technologies developed over the years,” The AIT Registrar said.
He further entreated AIT students and stakeholders to adhere to the safe protocols outlined by President Akufo-Addo.
“With our strength in technology, no student or any other stakeholder of ours will be put at risk by bringing them back to school. We encourage all our stakeholders to keep safe by following all the protocols outlined,’ Mr Osei-Boakye advised.
AIT is a leading technology-focused private university.