Former President John Dramani Mahama called on traditional universities to fully embrace smart digital technology to improve the learning environment.
This, he said, was to facilitate teaching and learning in the various institutions. Former President Mahama made the call yesterday at the 50th anniversary launch of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Ghana.
A 50th anniversary cake was cut at the event, which was themed: “Fifty Years of Excellence in Communications Scholarship and Training: Reinventing the Field in the Digital Age”.
Speaking via pre-recorded video, Mr Mahama, who is currently out of the country, said that from a previously analogue world, humanity has, over the past few decades, entered the digital era, an era that has dictated almost every aspect of life.
Mr. Mahama, who was the special guest of honor, said that digital communication has brought considerable convenience to consumers. The delivery of education, e-learning reaches a much wider population beyond the confines of a physical classroom,” he said.
“Of course, for now, blended learning plays a key role. This quest to digitize education prompted my government at the time to inaugurate a $37 million distance education ICT facility for the 10 regional centers for distance learning,” he added.
The regional centres, he said, were equipped with video conferencing facilities and smart conference rooms and this project gave the University of Ghana the necessary guaranteed fiber optic cloud service and the capacity to deploy areas wide spectrum wifi.
A deputy information minister, Fatimatu Abubakar, said the contribution of the Department of Communication Studies to national development was enormous.
“When it comes to business and our political enterprises, the department remains the oxygen that keeps all our institutions alive. He did, he does, and we look forward to another 50 years and beyond of continued collaboration and support,” she said.
In a welcome speech, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, said the department was celebrating its 50th anniversary at a time when the country was facing both opportunities and threats brought about by the rapid evolution of the media. and the communications landscape.
She instructed the ministry to work to expand access to the quality training it represented and offered. The Acting Provost of the College of Education, Professor Martin Oteng Ababio, has instructed the department to tap into its alumni to do great things.
The head of the communication studies department, Dr Abena Animwaa Yeboah-Banin, said the department had started efforts to secure a larger, purpose-built office complex equipped with teaching facilities. and learning facilities, including a fully functional production facility (with studio) . “Our consultations indicate that if we can secure funding, the university will give us land for its construction,” she said.
According to her, the department is restructuring its offerings to ensure relevance while making them accessible to more people, and will soon launch four new programs (two regular and two flexible) in strategic communications and multimedia journalism.
“We are also working on introducing short courses that meet emerging industry needs, including, for example, on local language broadcasting,” she said.