Speakers at a workshop on the impact of the expected increase in enrollment at the public universities, have called on the government to adequately invest in educational technology to improve and enhance instructional delivery and assessment.

They said following the implementation of the free senior high school policy government needed to improve the technological infrastructure and capacities of public universities to help facilitate teaching and learning.

This they said will reduce the stress of lecturers and examiners, who were already over-burdened by huge academic work.

The workshop, which was organized by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), was on the theme “towards receiving the 1st batch of the free SHS students into the public universities of Ghana: The role of the university and the university teacher”.

It was aimed at creating the platform for the university teachers to identify both the positive and negative impacts of the free senior high policy, on them as the first batch of students were preparing to enroll in the universities, and what could be done to maintain and improve on quality standards in the face of expected increasing numbers.

Professor Charles Barnor, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University for Professional Studies of Accra (UPSA), stressed the need for the government to take urgent steps to review the retiring age for university professors.

He said most academic lecturers obtain their professorship between the ages of 40 and 50 years, and by the time they reached 60 years, they were in the peak of their professorial experience.

Professor Barnor argued that retiring such people at age 60 denied the universities the crop of experience hands which were critical to quality teaching and research at the university level.

He said dispensing the services of experienced lecturers at age 60 would hugely affect the quality, especially with the expected increases in the number of enrollment as a result of the implementation of the free SHS policy.

He said the current situation where the retirees were made to work on contract was not sustainable and there was the need for the government to take a second look and peg the retiring age for lecturers at the universities to at least 65 years.

Professor Nana Afia Amponsaa Opoku-Asare, of the Faculty of Educational Studies of the KNUST, called on management of public universities to increase and expand their satellite campuses and repackage some of their programmes to attract students.

She also urged authorities of public universities to consider setting up professional editorial units to help in the editing of thesis, project works and other academic works of both students and lecturers to help ease pressures on lecturers.

Prof. Opoku-Asare however, said in-spite of the expected challenges, there was the need for public universities to keep the academic integrity, keep standards and maintain international status, adding that, there was the need to maintain the best practices to develop graduates who would be responsive to national needs and development.

Professor Kwasi Obiri Danso, Vice Chancellor of KNUST commended UTAG for the workshop to bring to the fore some of the expected challenges that would be faced by both the universities and lecturers.

He said it was important for the public universities to prepare for the expected increases in enrollment, adding that, KNUST was currently putting up some lecture halls and other facilities to admit students.

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