The National Accreditation Board (NAB) has observed, with great interest, the application of various technologies by some tertiary education institutions in Ghana to offer uninterrupted educational services to their students by distance learning in order not to disrupt their academic calendar as a result of the COVID-19 scare and its related lockdown.
While some institutions might have been well equipped with the appropriate ICT infrastructure for the proper deployment of some of these technologies on the onset of the pandemic, others might not have been.
However, because we are not in normal times, the Board directs that all alternative delivery and assessment approaches should observe the following basic quality assurance principles:
1. The technology employed in offering academic instructions must be appropriate, available, accessible, affordable and user friendly
2. The technology should be adequate for effective teaching and learning
3. Where distance learning assessment approaches are to be employed for the assessment of students, the identity of the candidate taking the examinations must be established to be the same as the one used for course registration
4. At all times, the students’ interest and convenience must be upheld. There should be an open and effective communication with students to ensure that they get the needed support. The provision of a hotline for each programme is advised
5. All other academic quality assurance principles as required for regular programme delivery must be observed
For purposes of accountability and better appreciation of institutional response to the global pandemic in the tertiary education space, the Board directs all tertiary educational institutions to furnish it with the following by May 15, 2020.
1. COVID-19 containment strategy indicating institutional preparedness to operate in the face of the pandemic in the short, medium and long term
2. Details of the current technology being used for programme delivery and/or assessment as stop-gap measure to ensure continuity amidst COVID-19
3. Institutional strategy for engaging both students and staff (academic and non-academic)
4. Institutional strategy for engaging and supporting foreign students to mitigate the effect of COVID-19.
It must be noted that the Board shall not accept any delivery and/or assessment approach or mechanism deemed inappropriate and/or inadequate.
The Board shall review this policy arrangement when the prevailing COVID-19 lockdown is normalized.
KINGSLEY NYARKO (PHD)