The present emerging university colleges in Ghana and the future of Ghana’s education delivery system
The American system of education delivery is highly practical; and that, quality education delivery are found in the private universities of America, but not the public universities.
Private universities in America such as Harvard, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Colombia etc. are top class leading universities in the world today as far as quality and standards in education are concerned.
Yale, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are world famous in this respect.
Ghana’s quality and standards of education are highly respected internationally, particularly in Africa.
Ghanaian public universities such as the University of Ghana, Legon (Ghana’s premier university), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Kumasi), Cape Coast University, University of Education, Winneba, now appear to be in danger of their qualities and standards of education delivery vis-à-vis the emerging university colleges at the present time.
This is so, owning to a number of positive and favourable factors that are presented in the following;
The first important factor to note is that the rapid and spontaneous springing of university colleges in the country has created a condition whereby, there is a rising spirit of competition as each university college assumes specialty of programmes of study of academic and professional disciplines in the arts, science and technology.
The presidents of these university colleges vie with each other for high standards in the various programmes of study that they are offering to attract intake of students.
Furthermore, the presidents of these university colleges pay particularly attention to high standards in the programmes that they are offering.
To this end, the presidents of these University colleges are strict of the output of their lecturers or teaching staff and the non-teaching staff.
Because the population of the students in these university colleges are comparatively smaller to those of the public universities, they are able to make strong impact in teaching and learning as compared to what prevails in the public universities.
Teaching and learning are easier in the university colleges, and this accrue good results as teaching staff handle fewer students as compared to the public universities. Marking of students assignments, examination scripts and supervisions of students’ projects are effectively executed owing to few students that are to be handled.
Conversely, in the public universities like the University of Ghana for example, a lecturer in the political science discipline or sociology for example, has to handle between 700 and 900 students!
One can imagine the constraints, difficulties that faces this lecturer in the teaching process to enable him or her to be effective enough to produce good results as compared to his or her counterpart in the public university.
This kind of atmosphere is definitely not conducive to bring about anything good to benefit students.
In sum, the environment under which students at the private university colleagues learn are more conducive than what prevails in the public universities.
Hence, the unfavourable situation in the public universities militates against any effective teaching and learning process; and ultimately, hinder the achievements of good results.
It must be of interest to note that at the present time, that the market demand for graduates being turned out from the Ashesi University College is very high and supercedes that of the products from the University of Ghana etc. This is due to the quality that Ashesi graduates are made of.
This situation has come about owing to the favourable positive factors that have been articulated in the foregoing about the emerging university colleges in the country.
It must be noted that although, the National Accreditations Board for tertiary institutions in the country apply the same criteria for the approval and running of courses for public and private university colleges, it appear that the university colleges are over stretching themselves in their modus operandi, so as to have an edge over the longtime existing public universities.
This is due to the fact that the emerging university colleges are self-funding and independent as compared to the long time existing public universities, which are totally dependent on government funding.
Being aware of their independent situation in terms of funding, the university colleges go extra mile in the catchment of students; and this incites the competitive nature of their operation as distinct from the long time existing public universities, which are complacent and glory in their past achievement in the delivery of tertiary education.
It appears that, besides renumeration for teaching and non-teaching staff, some of the university colleges do offer some forms of incentives to boost the morale and motivate very hard working staff for the enhancement of standards and quality of education delivery, which is virtually non existent in the public universities as far as conditions of service is concerned.
The Ashesi University College which is growing fast in popularity and has been a household word for quality education delivery in the country has given a strong signal of the potential of university colleges in Ghana to pose a threat of superceding the public universities in all aspects of education delivery in the shortest possible foreseeable time from now.
In conclusion I am optimistic, and have the conviction that the present trend of the modus operation of the emerging university colleges in the country is a clear indicator that they will soon outclass the public universities in quality education delivery; and a new era will emerge in Ghana to be synonymous to that of the American system of education delivery, where the private universities have the edge over the public ones .[The writer is a Theatre Critic]