By: Sam Dogbey |
The decision to have a professional certificate was borne out of several latent desires. For some it was a means to an end, to others, it served as an opening into the job market. Amazingly, others just wanted to satisfy their innate educational goals in life. In fact, the Abraham Maslow in them had propelled and catapulted them to self actualise in the 201academia for their commensurate recognition in the society.
Some teachers (untrained) who were already on the job were unhappy with how non-professionals were always looked down upon by their superiors as if professionalism was a guarantee to effective teaching.
Having said all these, we began the Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) in earnest not knowing how the course would eventually unfold.
Consequently, the programme began and committed members had to commute from near and far to attend lectures fortnightly. This was a real mirage. The task ahead was a herculean one because we were not just taught to comprehend, we were also taught to apply concepts as well as analyse situations, synthesise phenomena and finally evaluate ourselves.
The first semester commenced with lots of expectations and higher hopes. We started with courses like Psychological Basis of Education, General Methods, Off Campus Teaching, Research Methods and Methodology in our respective elective areas. We suddenly realised the big tasks ahead of us. Just like any other educational environment, some courses were boring.
Nevertheless, we sat through because the Ewes will say, “Nubiala fe aboe didina” to wit, a beggar has no choice. We were not beggars in this context but ‘how for do’? In order to digest the materials given us, we had to adopt strategies like group studies sometimes in a circus.
It is undoubtedly clear that the General Methods’ lecturer was the favorite of most students in the first semester. No wonder her reassignment to take assessment was a welcome news. We could not have imagined this course being taken up by any other person who I might call Mr./Mad. G. No, hell would have broken loose.
As if some invisible force was pushing the time, we wrote the first semester quizzes and we came face to face with the first semester examination. The new format for the exam was not only to start with us. My beloved English course mates were also in.
The day of reckoning came and nine of us were dispersed in a big hall as if government was enforcing the Parliamentary Act concerning compulsory scattered settlement. This day of reckoning had no one to beckon. This did not come in isolation; the external invigilators from University of Education, Winneba were very strict as if their lives depended on it.
Beside this unfriendly environment, the exam questions were set as if we needed a master key to unravel a puzzle to hit a jackpot. Well, since we were not born tabula rasa, we mustered courage and downloaded our classically conditioned answers.
The frustration with regards to change of venues was the new challenge for some of us since Almighty Legon, University of Ghana did not give us that stress. The first semester examination was soon over and the second and last semester had begun with pregnant lectures.
I must say, most of the second semester courses were interesting. However, some of the lecturers penciled to teach these chose to oversimplify issues while some were immersed in self aggrandisement and self praise at the expense of the course.
The anxiety to see the results of the first semester became heightened when snippets of information trickled in from other campuses. Patience, they say is a virtue. Gradually our results were in, somebody could actually get 4As. Wow, that was simply amazing, but wait a minute, did this mate take the course as a world cup? Wonders shall never end. Students as we were, we had qualms about our results but life needed to go on, with or without reservations.
As if by purposive sampling, our class seemed stratified with all of us having homogeneous views on issues that popped up. The care for one another was superb and identified our class as a unique one.
Having written the second semester examination successfully, we were all indebted to our maker that we ended the course with much relief. No change of venue issues, no late delivery of modules. The only thing that was mind blowing and mind boggling was our thesis. We hoped this hurdle came to an end sooner than later so we could all graduate.
Our Coordinator was an epitome of open mindedness and his demeanor, par excellence. He was best suited to coordinate the distance education. In fact, his interpersonal relationship would be emulated.
To the realist and idealist metaphycists who prayed for us throughout the programme, we say thank you.
The names that readily come to mind are Annette, Alex, Moro, Asiedu, Richard, Dennis, Divine, June, Bessie, Kafui, Eunice, Pius, Cephas, Dela, Sitso. It is not too late to have a blast. Congratulations.