Faculty of Foreign Languages Education and Communication Shares ideas on growth of the Faculty

Staff of the Faculty of Foreign Languages Education and Communication of the University of Education, Winneba organised a retreat from 22nd December, to 23rd December, 2016 at Manna Heights Hotel in Mankessim to share ideas on improving and promoting the growth of the Faculty.

The Retreat sought to build on lecturers’ Collective knowledge on academic research, promote collaboration and partnerships within the Faculty and beyond and inform members on the processes and paths toward professional development. It discussed ways of improving lecturers handling and processing of students’ results.

Information on staff development issues like processes involved in applying for study leave, attending conferences and promotion were also tackled. Topics discussed included: becoming research practitioners; • way forward, presented by the Director for the Centre for International Programmes, Prof. J. Y. Sekyi-Baidoo,

  • requirements, procedure and processes for PhD enrolment, Study Leave, Attending conference, seeking promotion by the Deputy Registrar of the Division of Human Resource, she was represented by the Senior Assistant Registrar, Human Resource, Mr. Ben Duadze and
  • Processing of Students Results, Challenges and the Ways forward by the Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics, Dr. Kwaku Ofori. On Enrolment for Terminal Degree, Mr. Duadze noted that, per the conditions of service, academic staff without terminal degree after serving probation (2years) and within the first contract period must show evidence of registration to pursue a terminal degree. This he said must be done following the due process. All staff who desire to enroll on Ph.D programmes must seek approval before doing so.

On the issue of Study Leave, Mr. Duadze identified three types:

  • pay/sponsored full time • pay/sponsored part-time, and
  • without pay. He noted that study leave may be granted after three years of work by the academic staff; subject to staffing position.

The procedures for applying for study leave and the components of sponsored study leave were outlined. The contractual obligations under study leave and the consequences of violating such obligations were also noted. Making a presentation on conference/workshops and field work, the conditions for sponsorship were looked at. The procedures for initiating conference leave or participating in fieldwork were also outlined. It was discussed that, where possible absence should be during semester breaks, but if within semester, satisfactory arrangement must be made to cover teaching and other commitments.

The presentation also looked at Promotions, the general conditions and the procedure for promotion was looked at. It was observed that a lecturer must have served for four years before applying for promotion to Senior Lecturer; a Senior Lecturer must have been in that position for at least three years before qualifying for promotion, and an Associate Professor must have been in that position for two years before he/she can apply to be a Professor. Prof. Sekyi-Baidoo explained the meaning of research, major orientations of research, main aspects of research and usefulness of research.

He indicated that the major setbacks of research activities in the Faculty are lack of Faculty/Departmental research agenda or focus, little pedagogical research, overexploitation of research topics, general weakness of theoretical growth, oversubscription of Application Research and non-directedness of student research. In his view, the way forward calls for efforts from both the Faculty and Staff. He urged the Faculty to organize research empowerment seminars and workshops, strengthen research reporting through Faculty Seminars and Research Dialogues, and ensure the development of research paradigms such as reports from conferences and staff study attachments. Staff were also urged to engage in constant interaction with ongoing research through conferences and reading of journals etc, collaborate with peers and seniors, reduce reliance on Graduate Dissertation publication, consider quality instead of quality orientation to research, avoid being carried on, make time for academic thought as an active intervention between data and report, cultivate a writing habit, and avoid concentration on early positions or too much part-time and other distractions. Dr. Kwaku Ofori looked at the roles of the five stakeholders and advised on how best the functions may be performed.

Thus, lecturers, departmental exams officer, faculty exams officer, Dean and Faculty Board on handling examination results. Lecturers were urged to key in results immediately after marking, avoid moderating individual results and submit soon after departmental discussion. Departmental Exams Officers were urged to ensure that all courses are mounted with the right codes and extensions before the beginning of the semester, assign courses to lecturers by the second week, and submit scores sheets to the Faculty Exams Officer soon after Faculty Board Approved.

The Faculty Exams Officer was advised to prompt Departmental Exams Officers immediately after Faculty approval of results, and to check the portal daily to ensure that all submitted results are published. Heads of Department were urged to use the privileges assigned them to monitor exams officers and lecturers’ performance at least once a week.

The Dean of Faculty was to ensure regular and efficient monitoring of all the processes-being answerable to the academic board on broadsheets from the Faculty. Dr. Kwaku Ofori cautioned that persons handling examination results are to:

  • Always print a hard copy of every result before submission
  • Never make any change of student’s results without approval of a board supported by minutes.
  • Never disclose password to anyone
  • Make password a little complex – a combination of letters and members
  • Check portal at least once a week 6. Never allow any other person to work in one’s portal.

Participants were urged to adhere to the rules of the University regarding topics presented on at the retreat.