Presentation by Dr Ben Mensah, University of Cape Coast, Ghana

Ben Mensah, University of Cape Coast
Presented at eSTEeM International Workshop on Distance Learning,
Open University, UK, April 18-21, 2011
 Development of Distance Learning in Ghana –
historical review
 Current State of Distance Learning
 Public Universities
 Other institutions
 Prospects and Challenges
Background to DE in Ghana
 Immediate post-independence: ‘correspondence’
courses for academic and professional qualifications
 Offered by institutions outside Ghana – mainly the UK
(Wolsey Hall, Rapid Results College)
 Subscription dropped in the 1970’s and ‘80s for
economic reasons
National need for Distance Learning
 As a viable alternative for manpower development
 especially in training of teachers
Expansion of access to basic education
For upgrading qualifications of teachers
 To expand access to university education
 Various attempts have been made to provide
opportunities for distance learning at tertiary level
Need for DE
 Assessment of DE needs: 1991-1994
the Commonwealth of Learning and UNESCO
 4 public universities began preparations for distance
delivery of programmes
 1995: Government approves DE programmes to begin
in all (4) public universities
 1996: National Distance Education Council established
1997: Ghana Distance Education Association (GHADEA)
State of DE in public universities
• Institute of Adult Education in 1970
• Established in 1970
5938 students registered by 1976
Enrolment down to 12 by 1984
• Currently runs a diploma programme in Youth
Development work for students in Ghana, Sierra Leone
and the Gambia
• As of 2009, had 4500 students
The University of Cape Coast
 Centre for Continuing Education
 Established in 1997 to administer DE
 First intake was 750 students in 2001 for
Diploma in Basic Education
 Currently runs:
 Diploma programmes in Business (Commerce
and Management)
 Post-Diploma: Education and Business
 MEd IT
 Total no. of programmes: 14
 Course on HIV / AIDS and associated
stigma (with UG, UEW and SFU)
 2010/2011 – 10,500 admitted (cf. 5,081 residential)
 43% female (35%)
 The current population of students is close to
30,000, with 32 study centres
 Completion rate average 77% between 2004 and
 Plans to build regional study centres / satellite
 Staff- capacity-building programmes in place
Centre for Continuing Education, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
Student Support
 Resident tutors in all regions
 1786 course tutors
 Bi-monthly face-to-face sessions
Distance Education at UEW
 Administered by the Institute for Educational
Development and Extension
 Established 1993, with financial support from the DfID
(the ODA)
 Print-based DE programme began in 1998 with 198
students on 3 year post-diploma degree in Education
 Now runs diploma and post-diploma programmes in
Basic Education and postgraduate diploma in
 Have plans to start M.Ed. programmes Science, Maths
and Language Education
 Current enrolment c. 23,000
Kwame Nkrumah University of
Science and Technology
 Institute for Distance Learning (IDL)
 IDL started in 2005
 8 study centres, one each in 8 of 10 regions
 Enrolment– 2575 (2009/2010)
 with c. 70% in 2 centres – Accra and Kumasi
 2,288 admitted for 2010-2011
 Commonwealth Executive Masters in Business
Administration (CEMBA)
 Commonwealth Executive Masters in Public
Administration (CEMPA)
 Proficiency Certificate in Architectural
Draughtsmanship (PCAD)
Other Institutions/Facilities
 Teacher Education Division, Ghana Education Service
 African Virtual University
 Kludjeson International (UNISA), West Africa
Resource Centre (Leicester University) Besworld
Company (OU)
 Staff training
 Development of course material
 Conversion of print-based to electronic instructional
 Equipment for electronic delivery
 Practical work in Science
 Perceptions of parity of qualifications obtained
through distance and conventional programmes
 Significant advances made in Distance Education
Ghana in the last decade
 Opening up access to tertiary education, freeing
learners from the constraints of time and place and
offering flexible learning opportunities.
 A number of challenges need to be overcome for
further development of DE
Thank you
 These sources of information are acknowledged:
 Ahiatrogah P.D., Mabenga, M.B., Brew, E.D., Adu, S. and
Asabere-Ameyaw A. (2006). Overview of Distance Education
Programmes in Ghana. Presented at Workshop on Modern
Distance Education and Network Education for African
Educators, Jilin University, Changchun, Sept. 2-21
 Centre for Continuing Education, University of Cape Coast
 KNUST website -
 UG Website -
 W.H.K. Hordzi
- University of Education, Winneba (UEW)
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