Tuesday, March 2

Education Minister unopposed to online examinations.

The Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, says he is not opposed to universities conducting their examinations online so long as they have the capacity to do so and are able to ensure the participation of all their students. 

For the first time in the country’s history, universities are having to devise innovative ways to provide lessons and conduct exams, as schools remain closed until further notice as part of measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease.

While many universities have been organising lectures online, the decision by some to conduct end-of�semester exams online has sparked resistance among some students, who believe there are many challenges with that mode of contact that school authorities have not addressed.

Reacting to the issue in a media interview, the minister said if the universities have the capacity to conduct exams online, the education ministry would not object to it—unless the mode of the exams would disenfranchise some students.

“If any university has got all its students online to conduct its examinations, who am I to say don’t conduct online exams,” he said. 

“I suspect if any university does the exams and realises that only a third of the students could do it, then there is nothing much they can do about it but to find another way of bringing everybody on board to be able to write the exam.”

The Ghana Institute of Journalism was one of the first public universities to issue a communique containing the revised academic calendar of the school for the second semester of the 2019/2020 academic year, which indicated that online exams will be held for their students.

The communique provided modalities for how the exams, scheduled for May 25 to June 12, will be conducted.

Some students of the institute however expressed their reservations about the decision to conduct exams online, pointing to challenges such as the cost and reliability of internet services.

Currently, it is not clear when schools across the country will be made to reopen as cases of the novel coronavirus keep going up.

The pandemic has disrupted the academic calendar of the schools, and there are fears it could delay the start of the next academic year in September.

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