The management of the Takoradi Technical University (TTU) has increased its lecture theatres and offices to ensure enough space during lectures and administrative work to meet the social distancing protocols of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The university added 40 new lecture theatres and 50 offices to create more spaces for the over 13,000 students and administrative staff as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Registrar of the TTU, Dr Moses Maclean Abnory, said as an institution, the university had put in place short, medium and long-term structures to help regulate activities safely in the wake of the pandemic.
“We have been told that the virus spreads through close contact and so we have employed all the means we can to create enough space on campus,” he said.
He said the issue of crowds in the lecture theatre had been resolved with support from the government for the successful completion of the new lecture theatres and offices.
One other area of concern, Dr Abnory said was the hostel facility for the students and that because of the situation, many of the students were in private facilities.
“However, the university is creating a new community that would give a lot of ease to students after the completion of a 3,000-bed capacity prefabricated hostel for students”.
The construction, he said would help in ensuring a perfect ambiance for students and curb the issue of overcrowding in their hostels.
In its quest to employ technology to enhance teaching and learning, Dr Abnory said currently,70 per cent of its tutelage was through online which had been introduced by the academic board.
He further explained that the blended mode of teaching had become necessary in the wake of COVID-19 and lecturers had been taken through series of training to broaden their capabilities on the use of Googleclassroom among others as an online toolkit.
The remaining 30 per cent, he said, were reserved for face-to-face practical aspects of some courses at various departments of the university, which had proven very effective.
While on campus, the university ensures the regular washing of hands, wearing of face masks, no mass gathering as well as the checking of temperature.
Aside from that, Dr Abnory said personal protection equipment (PPE) had been distributed to the students, lecturers and non-teaching staff to protect themselves as they went about their work on campus.
“Within the university community, temperature taking and washing of hands have been made mandatory at the entry points for both students and visitors to the school,” he said.
As the fresh students return to school coupled with struggle for hostel facilities, the management of the university came up with a policy to reserve portions of the hostel facilities for only first year students in order not to expose them to the pandemic through their search for accommodation.
“This I must say has helped greatly as we received our first year students and made the majority of them comfortable, safe and ready for academic work,” he said.
Dr Abnory said there had also been great improvement in sanitation on campus and that before the arrival of students, the university carried out fumigation and clean up exercise with Zoomlion Ghana.
Outside the university and at various hostels the news team visited, it however realised that students were on their own. Places visited revealed most of the hostels were not following the safety protocols.
There were no hand hygiene equipment at the entrances; students interacted freely without respecting the safety protocols.