A former Vice-chancellor of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA), Professor Joshua Alabi has said that the role of open and distance learning universities is not to compete with traditional universities but to compliment them.
Speaking to CTV News on the sidelines of the 1st Convocation Ceremony of the Laweh Open University College in Nungua in the Greater Accra Region, Prof. Alabi advised traditional universities not to feel threatened by the existence of open and distance learning universities or consider them as inferior.
He said open and distance learning has several advantages and it is primarily designed to solve problems which the traditional universities do not readily have remedies for.
He highlighted some key issues affecting the education sector in Ghana which include but not limited to incessant policy changes; high secondary school enrolment but low tertiary levels intake; low textbook to student ratio; inadequate infrastructure; limited funding and high cost of current educational models.
Others include mismatch between labour market needs and graduate characteristics and graduate unemployment. He said the aforementioned issues can be addressed with open and distance learning from secondary to tertiary levels as well as the deployment of technology.
Prof. Alabi also called for the emphasis of education in contemporary Ghana to shift towards useful and applied learning informed by the acquisition and possession of knowledge, skills and attitudes that can impact humanity.
The Laweh Open University College is the first accredited Open University in Ghana.