Place students at heart of education agenda — Diana Kaleo-Bioh

The Head of Client Coverage, Corporate and Investment Banking at Stanbic Bank, Ms. Dinah Kaleo-Bioh, has called on educational institutions to make students the centre of the policies for continuity and sustainability.
Speaking as the Guest Speaker at the 13th congregation of the Garden City University College, Kenyasi-Kumasi, on the theme: “Post COVID-19 and the educational enterprise: Innovative strategies to stay in business”, Ms. Kaleo-Bioh said the educational demands of the new normal required a ‘student centricity model’.
IT infrastructure
She mentioned that “the business of education or educational enterprise is becoming more costly to run because of all the challenges that have emanated from the COVID-19 pandemic”.
“Schools have been forced to invest more in IT infrastructure to stay on top of issues. Training programmes have had to be run at high cost for staff to be abreast of these new technologies. In fact, the investment into these new technologies alone can be crippling.”
“Tertiary education has moved into the realm of what I call marketisation, where these institutions have become fully functional corporate bodies that aim at providing quality services, ensuring growth on both the top line and the bottom line with an improved social image to attract the best students,” Ms. Kaleo-Bioh said.
She said it was particularly true for private universities, saying that the “need to strategise is not just to stay afloat, but also to be resilient and sustainable irrespective of the storms in the business environment”.
“These strategies will need to be diverse enough to attract the attention of parents and students. I want to call this ‘The Student Centricity Model’.
“This model puts students at the centre of whatever decision the school takes,” she added.
She also advised educational institutions to adopt alternative modules to online teaching given the low level of Internet penetration in the country.
She noted that “with the limited coverage and high cost of Internet services in our country, it will be difficult for all our students to participate in the live online learning sessions as is now increasingly practiced, but this should not prevent us from offering our services to more students”.
Prioritise investments
She further encouraged educational institutions to prioritise investments in technology as it was central to the delivery of all services, including education in this era.
According to her, technology was at the core of strategies to deliver services, saying, “by this, all staff must be tech savvy”. Ms. Kaleo-Bioh said staff must be trained to acquire adequate skills to operate within the technological environment and must have a warm attitude, especially toward our paymasters, the students.

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