The Challenges of Distance Education to Rural Teachers Experiences from the University of Education, Winneba

Ellen Louise Olu Fagbemi, Robert Andrews Ghanney


In 2005, the Ministry of Education(MOE) ruled that the minimum teaching qualification in public basic school should be a diploma at the time, the majority of teachers at this level possess the minimum teaching qualification of a Certificate “A” and some have received no training at all. The University of Education, Winneba has been admitting teachers from all regions of Ghana onto its distance education (DE) programme for the past decade. However it is not clear what challenges they encounter as they study and teach simultaneously, often in remote and isolated communities. Although the programme has been running for some time, no such study has been conducted. Against this background, this is the first study to explore the challenges of DE to rural teachers. The study employed a qualitative methodology using the social constructivist model of seeking to build knowledge with the respondents. Thus, the major instruments employed were interviews and observations. The study found that being adult learners, the teachers had strong intrinsic motivation to succeed but also faced challenges arising from university administrative circumstantial support systems. The study concludes that such systemic support should be revisited if the DE programme is to truly serve the needs of its participants.

Key words: distance education, rural, teachers, and challenges.

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