Sabbatical Leave, Season of Renewal

Sabbatical leave is defined as a period of time in which a person does not report to his regular job but remains employed with that company. It is a period of paid leave from work given periodically for study or travel. At the University, faculty members often use the period for independent research, writing, etc.

Benefits of Sabbatical

Interacting with Mr. Eric Nketia of the History Department who took a sabbatical leave during the 2015/2016 academic year, it came up that, Sabbatical serves as a period of rejuvenation and renewal. During the period, faculty members have the opportunity to break away from their usual routine and have the enormous restorative potential, renewing them not only physically, but mentally and spiritually.

The second benefit is that a sabbatical leave provides a time for reflection. Mr. Erick Nketia observed that, he had time to reflect on his career and the direction of his work. He observed that, during the period, he came up with thirty six (36) research topics that he intend to delve into to better his profession.

Another benefit one derives going on sabbatical leave is the opportunity to become or stay 
current in one’s discipline. Mr. Eric Nketia observed that, whiles away on sabbatical, he read six (6) books every two weeks. The time he spent away in the library he observed had made him learn new things and given him new perspective to his field. As a lecturer, this he believes has enhanced his unique strengths and interests, helping him rethink what to do in his career. 

At the social and personal levels, he said he was able to visit his family members. He had quality time with his wife, and had time to bond better with his kids.

Challenges

Sabbatical are periods in which employees may not be paid by the institution, just that their jobs remain secured. In Ghana and the University of Education, Winneba, you may have your basic salary paid to you. As a result, Mr. Nketia observed that, he was not having enough money to fund most of the research activities he embarked on during the period.

That notwithstanding, he indicated that, it was a worthwhile experience all faculty members must have.

Who qualify for sabbatical?

A faculty member at the University of Education, Winneba must have served for six (6) or more years to qualify for a one (1) year sabbatical leave, or for ten (10) or more years to qualify for a two (2) year sabbatical leave.