The schools have had to expand their intake to accommodate the huge numbers who graduated as the first batch of the Free SHS Programme which saw some 90,000 more students admitted into Ghana’s Senior High Schools in 2017.
Some schools took advantage of the COVID 19 closure on schools, to buy time to construct more facilities with others overhauling their virtual learning platforms to soak the anticipated pressures.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST)
Conventionally, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology should admit an average of 20 thousand freshmen.
From the ninth of this month, however, the campus will be filled with 30 thousand fresh students.
Ultimate News’ checks in the University showed that the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities which has the highest intake of students has undergone some expansion of its facilities with wide lecture buildings able to take over a thousand students at a goal.
The school’s Libraries have also been refurbished with extra room for digital facilities allocated for electronic learning.
The university’s Faculty of Allied Sciences has been supported with a three-storey lecture block to take in more nursing, medical imaging, and sonography students.
The Faculty of Art and Built Environment is also yet to commission a 6-story facility to accommodate the expected numbers.
Provost for the College of Humanities and Sociology Prof. Charles Marfo however contended the facilities are not adequate to support the anticipated load of work
He explained: “Although the government has taken steps to help us expand our facilities, I guess because of the COVID they were also not financially stable to help us.
“Before Covid, we knew there were huge promises but we have not seen that in physical terms really much so we have not been so lucky with facilities.” he said.
The Management of the University however contends though the pressure on its facilities is imminent; the university pooled resources to expand its infrastructure ahead of this year’s admissions.
University Relations Officer Dr. Daniel Norris Bekoe argued there is no course for alarm as the school is working towards combining both classroom and virtual studies to maximize its capacity.
He outlined: “The University has embarked on massive infrastructure development dating back from 2018 and most of these projects have been completed and commissioned. These projects were in terms of lecture halls, simulation centers, labs and auditoria so we are prepared and ready to absorb quite a huge chunk of those who have completed the Free SHS.”
Dr Bekoe made it known that the University had already taken students and lecturers through its V-Class online studies platform, to help decongest huge classrooms as part of covid 19 Infection Prevention and Control measures.
The KNUST last year, received clearance to employ some four hundred and fifty staff, to beef up its capacity to cater for the swell in the number of students.
Professor Marfo who also doubles as the National Chair of the University Teachers Association of Ghana pointed out the extra virtual academic work occasioned by COVID 19 Infection Prevention and Control measures, will still have a great toll on University Staff.
Little has been done in the area of fresh construction of halls and hostels of accommodation for students although the University has entered into Memoranda of Understanding with some private hostels with close proximity to the university.
These hostels which have met the standards of the University’s Estate Department will be provided security, supervision and shuttle facilities to serve students of the university.
Kumasi Technical University
At the Kumasi Technical University (KsTU), several students working on their admission documents were present on campus shuffling between offices with their complaints and documentation challenges.
No visible Expansion work has been undertaken on its Amakom campus even though the university is expecting a 90% increment in its enrollment this year.
The Public Relations officer of the technical University Dr Charles Obeng Sarpong told reporter Ivan Heathcote – Fumador, some new projects will soon be fully constructed on its Adako-Jachie campus.
He noted: “One faculty which is the Faculty of Built and Natural Environment has moved there. We are tackling another structure which is about 5 storey which is likely to absorb some numbers but that will not be short-term. We have plans on how we will be able to contain them with our current facilities.”
He further disclosed that the school was deploying the power of virtual studies to complement the face to face lectures to manage its inadequacies.
Just as the intake of these students in the year 2017 tested the capacities of Senior High Schools, their admission into the various tertiary institutions will be a major litmus test on the abilities of our institutions of higher learning, to demonstrate their prowess in maximizing scarce resources in the face of increasing demand. Read Full Story