UG Vice-Chancellor advocates training of journalists, communicators on emerging technology

Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana (UG), has advocated training for journalists and communication personnel to keep them at pace with emerging technology in the new media.

This according to her would create courageous professionals, to invent tailor-made solutions to challenges of peculiar environment.

Prof. Amfo made the call at the launch of the 50thanniversary of the Department of Communication Studies of UG, on the theme:“5O years of Excellence in Communication Scholarship and Training: Reimagining the Field in a Digital Era,” in Accra, yesterday.

She said“As Ghana’s youth, who are more open-minded and digitally savvy continue to shift attention to new media, and as the power of control of what we think and discuss moves to foreign-based platforms, sometimes with little attention to our unique circumstances, we need new tools for measuring the evolving impact of media in our lives”.

Prof.Amfo noted that low media literacy, poor regulation and personal recklessness heightened daily threat of misinformation.

She said there was urgent need for scholarship that would empower policy and support the orientation of media consumers and users in the new media landscape without putting themselves or others in danger.

In a pre-recorded video, former President John Dramani Mahama listed the ease technological advancement brought to individuals, institutions and the globe especially during the outbreak of coronavirus.

In the area of education, he said technology had helped scale-up teaching and learning, and expanded education beyond the classroom,and enabled institution access “knowledge bank of other institutions in different parts of the world.”

Recounting the efforts his government made towards digitalising education, former President Mahama said there was an inauguration of a USD 37 million distance education ICT facility in all ten regional distance education centres, which were equipped with video conferencing facility and smart lecture theatres.

This, he said gave institutions like the University of Ghana the opportunity to deploy Wifi zones over a wide spectrum and provided high speed internet to over 120 communities from Ho to Bawku with a link from Yendi to Tamale.

However, the former President noted that with the advent of fifth-generation technology (5G), more could be done to improve upon what has already been done.

“I look forward to seeing a future where all our traditional universities have fully embraced smart digital technology and adapt immersive learning technology to simulate the required learning environment scenarios and context to facility teaching and learning,” he said.

Dr Abena Animwaa Yeboah-Banin, the Head of Department, said her outfit would soon introduce four new programmes (two regular and two flexible) in Strategic Communications and Multimedia Journalism.

“We are also working towards introducing short courses that tackle emergent needs in industry including local language broadcasting,” she said

Dr Yeboah-Banin said the department was faced with ‘small faculty size’, limiting the ability to expand intake significantly without sacrificing quality.

“Our efforts at recruitment are hampered by uncompetitive remuneration and conditions of service. This is made worse by the fact that not many practitioners hold doctoral degrees, the entry-level criterion for recruitment, making the pool we can recruit from even narrower,” she said.


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