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Students Outburst: Clash Of Titans On GIJ Campus   
 
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27-Nov-2014  
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Ghana Institute of Journalism (aka GIJ) is indeed one of Africa's and Ghana's premier journalism institutions but sometimes I wonder what informs the decisions by this �journalists manufacturing� institute.

GIJ is credited as the longest-serving journalism school in the nation, established during independence days long before Ghana's First President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah died but even today, there�s still little to say of its structural progress as well as decision-making process.

GIJ is supposed to be a Communication institute or better still it is a Communication Institute. It has churned out several communicators (journalists and Public Relations Managers). Evidently, the school can boast of the best products in the journalistic fraternity.

The administrators of the school may have been upholding and teaching the right things to produce great communicators. However, they, themselves, fail to practice what they teach.

Yes, I'm talking about the huge communication lapses and the poor decisions on the campus of GIJ. These lapses have closed in on even the current Rector of the school, Dr. Wilberforce Dzisah, who also doubles as a Political Communication lecturer in the school.

Certain decisions taken by the authorities for students on campus leave room for many questions to be raised about the school's board of directors [if only there is] and the so-called Students Representative Council.

First was the decision by the school authorities to give opportunity to students who want to upgrade their certificate or acquire degree after their diploma at GIJ. This school therefore offered regular and weekend top-up courses, obviously to help these category of students.

Most of these regular and weekend top-up students are workers, parents, managers and in literal sense, "very busy-body" people. Yet, it is important to further their education. So, though, it's a privilege to arrange for weekend students; the lecture schedules have gracefully been treated with contempt by the attendees.

Why do you start lectures at 7 am when you have weekend students whose only vacation from work is on weekends? Does the school administration even share the concerns of the weekend students? What would have happened if the time had been shifted forward to appease the students?

Nevertheless, the administration may have a good point for fixing such ridiculous time period. Its aim may have been to instill discipline in the students as the lecturers keep asserting that "the serious ones will wake up early to school." As to who determines what makes a "serious student", time will tell.

Even though, some students can manage to swallow this pill; the school authorities should not take the rights of the students for granted. They may be in charge of administration, formulation and implementation of policies; they however must know that there will be no GIJ without students just as there will be no students without GIJ.

Now, let's just decide to throw this ridiculous decision by the authorities into the trash can. Yeah, the students can manage that since they have been attending lectures within the stipulated time and are even in their examination season. This is where the authorities goofed big time!

I blame nobody but the much acclaimed Rector of the institute. Oh yeah, he has been doing a fantastic job fighting for the �deliverance� of GIJ. But the ultimate question is how did he make or approve of the decision to change examination timetable few days to exams?

A school which will be starting exams this Friday, 28th November, 2014 brings out a timetable for its students who have also been preparing hard to achieve a "class" when the academic calendar is over and just two days to the start of the exams, the timetable is suddenly changed. Yet, this is a school that everybody is made to believe is on top of communication issues.

One thing I was thought at GIJ during my days as student was effective communication and decision-making. How can the authorities decide to change exam timetable just 48 hours for exams to begin when you know that "weekend" students do not always get the luxury of time to regularly troop in and out of the school?

Now, my fears are those who have no clue that the timetable has been changed and instead of the students writing one paper a day; they are now compelled to write two papers each day like the Secondary school system or better still Junior High School system.

Is this the same school that has won a Presidential charter to operate as University? Does the Students Representative Council (SRC) even exist? Did they know the timetable was going to be changed just 48 hours to exams? What was their response?

SRC is supposed to represent the interest of the students but I bet to differ. GIJ SRC has rather been turned into a monument, existing for existing sake and operating like ordinary interest group on campus and on Facebook. Clueless!

What really informed the decision by the Rector to change the timetable [because I believe there cannot be such decision without his approval]? What will make the authorities compound the struggles that students go through to write their exams? Why would the Academic Board commit such big blunder? Why take such �callous� decision?

For Christ's sake, this is a University; not Primary Six.

You do not take such strange decisions and fail to communicate it effectively to your students. I am a top oil mogul who (but for GIJ) barely live in the nation and I received news about the changes that have been effected on the exam timetable only through a whatsapp message a colleague who is equally upset sent to me.

And as I sat down to ponder; I wondered if my colleague had not told me this via whatsapp discussion; how else would I have been informed?

Treating your University students as kids is not so much a worry as whipping them with rods (to the Rector). I think a school which has for years been met with modest acclamation should simply know how to steer student affairs or else will have to be taught by its students.

Finally, to those of you ready with your pens and marking my grammar as well as those ready to badmouth this piece; I say "Merry Christmas in advance."

You need to be a GIJ Alumni to understand these issues!!
 
 
Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana
 
 

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