Ghana gets first ever Open University
By Isaac Kyei Andoh
She was academically brilliant, the shining light of a community that has seen many potentially intelligent girls given no sniff at education and many dropping out along the way.
Everyone expected her to be the exception to the rule, scale higher heights, make her people proud and be a living example to the young ones
As far as people were concerned, she was destined for greatness and on her way to making it real big
She believed it too and longed for it day and night unfortunately, failure to get the best out of one elective subject crushed her university dreams: albeit temporary disappointed, dejected and depressed, her health started deteriorating, she lost her balance, got paralyzed for 3 months due to the pain of missing on her dreams. It nearly took failing to get the required result from one subject to render a brilliant young lady a school dropout
Then she got a lifeline. UCC had only ten successful applicants for their Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Chemistry program. To get more students, a special entry process was initiated. She applied, passed the exams and gained admission.
The woman telling her story is Prof Mrs Goski Alabi, total quality management practitioner, and an accomplished entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in academia, consultancy and regulation. She is globally recognised as one of the best in her field. She provides consultancy services for many local and international organisations
But for UCC’s inability to meet their required number of intake, an educational system that recognises only students who come out with flying colours in exams would have deprived Ghana and the world such a gem.
With this story and painful experience, she lived everyday longing for the opportunity to be part of an educational system with no barriers and one that is patient enough to bring the worse of student to the level of academic excellence their potentials and desire can get them to.
This is the story and vision that gave birth to Ghana’s first and West Africa’s second Open University- Laweh Open University.
The University was established in the year 2014 as an open supported learning institution to offer certificates, diplomas, degrees and postgraduate Programmes. LAWEH is a global partner of Franklin University and Open University of Tanzania.
Speaking at the inauguration of the school’s 11 Member Governing Council, Prof Goski Alabi who is a member of the Counsel indicated that education should be the right of every individual and failure to pass exams at one stage should in no way be the end of the road for people who desire to move further.
According to her, all over the world, the Open University System has been adopted as the way to removing the barriers to education, give people the freedom to learn at their own pace and convenience and come up better equipped to compete in this competitive world.
She indicated that the days of writing remedial exams over and over are over. She urged student to take advantage of the Open University because structures have been put in place to ensure that even the student with the worse result comes out of the institution prepared and equipped to succeed.
The 11-member Governing Council is chaired by Dr. Kingsley Fletcher (HRM Nene Drolor Bosso Adamtey I). The members are Professor Vincent Ado Tenebe- Former Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria, Professor J. S. Y. Kuma – Vice Chancellor of University of Mines and Technology Tarkwa, Professor Con. Eng, Tolly S.A Mbwette, Former Vice Chancellor, Open University Tanzania, Professor Joshua Alabi- Former Vice-Chancellor UPSA , Professor Goski Alabi- Dean of centre for International Education and Collaboration UPSA.
Others are Ms. Mavis Ekua E. Kwainoe- Legal Practitioner and Lecturer, UPSA, Professor Jemison Kurasha- Dean of Business school, Open University of Zimbabwe, Dr. Joshua Mallet- Director of Centre for Distance Learning and Open Schooling (CENDLOS), and Professor Jonathan Mbah- Director of Research and Planning- AUU.