Professor John Gatsi of the Business School of the University of Cape Coast is advocating flexible curricula for business schools to produce graduates that fit for the job market.
Business schools globally have been thinking about the best curriculum in response to many lessons learned from the adaptations to the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at a roundtable organised by Globsyn Business School in India on how Business Schools are changing their curriculum to adapt to the needs of businesses Prof. Gatsi explained that curriculum has not changed that much but the mode of delivering has significantly changed by deploying technology.
Emphasising the two dominant modes of delivery in Ghana due to Covid-19, he said the first mode is full virtual (online) with opportunity to upload materials and videos for further engagements with students and the hybrid or blended mode in which a percentage is dedicated to online and face-to-face with smaller classes.
Prof. Gatsi noted that the blended mode helps to observe Covid protocols and allow businesses related to educational institutions to be operated so that the economy surrounding Business Schools are not completely shut down.
He said that during the height of the pandemic, innovation and creativity have become important part of employment requirements with relevant soft skills and technology-friendly capabilities.
Prof Gatsi agreed with other panelists drawn from India and Malaysia with global expertise that industries now expect “work ready graduates” who already have heavy dose of soft skills, good corporate attitude and technology ready.
He said “Businesses are not just seeking for workers but skillful and innovative workers”.
He specifically appealed to Business Schools to train students who can contribute to cost savings, business restructuring and ensure sustainability.
Prof. Gatsi explained that within a period of one year, the needs of businesses have changed significantly and promising continuous changes and, thus, requiring a flexible curriculum to quickly accommodate these changing needs in the curriculum.
He said the normal curriculum review period in many jurisdictions is five years and this must be reduced greatly to ensure Business Schools produce graduates with similar outcomes.
He said this calls for radical orientation by Business School administrators, faculties and regulators with strong bond of information sharing between businesses and schools on one hand and businesses and regulators on the other hand.
Prof. Gatsi who is also the Dean of the University of Cape Coast Business School called for an efficient investment strategy in infrastructure needed to improve on the delivery modes so as not to contribute to the huge inequality or inequities in participating in virtual education.
He said efficient high-speed internet connectivity is a basic requirement in the new era and must rank topmost on investment priority list by governments and Universities.
Prof. Gatsi, however, cautioned that workload and preparation pressures under the new mode of teaching and learning may create serious health risks for many lecturers and students.