Accra Institute of Technology (Ghana) Surviving as a private university in Covid-19 era, the AIT experience.
“A hunter does not have mercy on a sick animal” (an Akan adage).
The thought of the above adage is illustrated by the case of the private university sector in Ghana. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the survival of the universities in this sector, which employ thousands of Ghanaians, was heavily dependent on admission numbers and students” ability to pay fees. Worse yet, several of these universities were even struggling for students due to the dwindling number of international students coming to study in Ghana. To add insults to injury, they faced a fierce competition from their counterpart public universities who had expanded their respective distance education programmes in a bid to boost up their Internally Generated Funds in order to compensate for the drop in Government subventions to their institutions.
In 2009 AIT was the only university in Ghana that had a system, which allowed students to submit assignments, access electronic library, partake in quizzes etc. Lecturers in the university could grade their work online and assess their students in whatever form using the same system. Now in 2020, AIT has employed a model, which has by far proven to be the surest way of survival in this pandemic and beyond. The operations of AIT has continued uninterrupted despite the pandemic due to it”s strength in using technology to boost teaching and learning.
The university has a Learning Management System dubbed “LEMASS” which is effectively utilized in the delivery of online teaching and learning modes for their students. One would wonder how AIT came by the exact systems needed to combat the challenges that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an effort to eliminate any physical interaction between students and the faculty of AIT while still realizing the same outcomes of the teaching and learning experience, the institution deployed a clearly stated protocol to better streamline the entire online learning experience.