The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) on Friday called on government to in the interim halt all online academic activities until the feud between students and university authorities are resolved.
It urged the Communications and the Education ministries, to clearly streamline and supervise the e-learning platform directive issued to all universities.
The Union in a statement signed by its President Mr Isaac Jay Hyde and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, demanded authorities ensure students were given some financial waivers like free online data and bursaries to continue learning even in these trying times.
The statement recommended that government should ensure no university conducted any compulsory examination or assessment on e-learning platforms.
Conducting such exams and assessments would disadvantage the many students who, by no fault of theirs, are unable to participate in the e-learning process, it said.
It urged government to direct all universities to put a hold on stringent financial requirements demanded of students before accessing various e-platforms.
According to the statement, an evaluation conducted by NUGS among students in some universities as of April 14, 2020, indicated there were still a number of accessibility challenges associated with the implementation of the e-learning platforms for university education.
It said many universities had not made available “bundle incentives” for their students, making accessing various virtual learning platforms difficult.
“Apart from University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Education Winneba, and a few other institutions, a number of universities still haven’t announced or made any attempt to see how they can bridge the wide digital gap among their students”.
It said University of Development Studies, University of Education Winneba, Ghana Institute of Journalism and a host of private universities were lagging behind in implementation measures with regards to e-learning platforms.
The statement urged government to direct all universities to put a hold on stringent financial requirements demanded of students before accessing various e-platforms.
“Universities should be directed to put on a temporal hold on all financial regimens demanded of students, especially those on the Student Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) scheme, until they get their allocation for the second semester,” it said.
Touching on the welfare of students and needy students, the Union called on government to consider including incentives for them as it planned to outdoor a roadmap to allocate resources made to the Covid-19 National Trust Fund.
It appealed to government to grant some loan waivers for needy students who access the SLTF “as indeed, these times are not ordinary times.”
“We are appealing for a special relief package for International Students studying in the country, since lockdown measures in various countries have affected their ability to receive funds from guardians,” the statement said.