The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) on Friday called on government to temporary halt all online academic activities until the feud between students and university authorities are resolved.

The Union urged government, through the Communication and Education ministries, to clearly streamline and supervise the e-learning platform directive issued to all universities.

The authorities must also ensure that students were given some financial waivers like free online data and bursaries to continue learning even in these trying times.

This was in a statement signed by Mr Isaac Jay Hyde, the NUGS President, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.

It recommended that government should ensure no university conducted any compulsory examination or assessment on e-learning platforms.

The release said conducting such exams and assessments would disadvantage the many students who, by no fault of theirs, were unable to participate in the e-learning process.

It urged government to direct all universities to put a hold on stringent financial requirements demanded of students before accessing various e-platforms.

An evaluation conducted by NUGS among students in some universities as of April 14, 2020, indicated observed that there were still a number of accessibility challenges associated with the implementation of the e-learning platforms for university education, the release said.

It said many universities had not made available bundle incentives for their students, making accessing various virtual learning platforms difficult.

“Apart from the University of Ghana, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Education Winneba, and a few other institutions, a number of universities still haven’t announced or made any attempt to see how they can bridge the wide digital gap among
their students”.

It said the University of Development Studies; University of Education Winneba, the Ghana Institute of Journalism and a host of private universities were lagging behind in implementation measures with regards to e-learning platforms.

The release urged government to direct all universities to put a hold on stringent financial requirements demanded of students before accessing various e-platforms.

“Universities should be directed to put on a temporal hold on all financial regimens demanded of students, especially those on the Student Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) scheme, until they get their allocation for the second semester,” it said.

Touching on the welfare of students and needy students, the Union called on government to consider including incentives for them as it planned to outdoor a roadmap to allocate resources made to the Covid-19 National Trust Fund.

It appealed to government to grant some loan waivers for needy students who access the SLTF “as indeed, these times are not ordinary times.”

“We are appealing for a special relief package for International Students studying in the country, since lockdown measures in various countries have affected their ability to receive funds from guardians,” the statement said.

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The Ghana news Agency (GNA) was established on March 5, 1957, i.e. on the eve of Ghana's independence and charged with the "dissemination of truthful unbiased news". It was the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the state to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state. GNA has therefore been operating in the unique role of mobilizing the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.


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