The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin, has called on institutions of higher education in developing countries to find innovative ways to meet the new demands of teaching and learning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the challenges of recent times, due to the raging pandemic, makes it imperative for such institutions to adapt with speed and urgency to the new trends and ultimately carve new images and identities for themselves.
The Speaker's remark was contained in a speech read on his behalf last weekend by the member of parliament for Sunyani East Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh at the fourth biennial reunion and fundraising event of the University of Ghana’s North American Alumni Association in Maryland, United States of America (USA).
The Speaker called for a thorough reflection on the challenges posed to the global socio-economic development in the wake of the pandemic in order to reduce the extent of harm.
“About six months back, today’s meeting might not have been possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which devastated a lot of countries including the US, and placed almost every activity – economic, social and political – at a standstill,” Mr Bagbin recounted adding “the world was almost getting to its wits end in terms of finding solutions to the pandemic.”
“I am of the opinion that there is an urgent need for institutions of higher learning, particularly those in developing and poorer countries in Africa, to device strategies that will enable them to quickly adapt to the changing demands of teaching and learning by using appropriate technology, given the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Reflecting on the opportunities and challenges facing the current Parliament, the Speaker indicated his resolve to ensure Parliament lives up to the objectives for which the House was constituted.
“We finally have an inimitable opportunity to show that we can work together as one true body – united in purpose despite our differences – to fight for the good of the country, its people and its institutions,” he said and added: “My aspiration as Speaker is to lead the eighth Parliament into becoming the real trailblazer of the conduct that we want to see among Ghanaians.”
The Speaker also called on all Ghanaians to continue to maintain and project the country’s unique identity.
“We must continue to be proud of our heritage, and of the significant place we occupy in this global village. Ghana cannot be seen to be aping other identities and cultures from other countries, or their values and principles, except for those that are universally accepted and homegrown," he said.