Widening Access to Tertiary Education for Women in Ghana Through Distance Education

Olivia Adwoa Tiwaah Frimpong KWAPONG

Distance education (DE) is seen as a tool for widening access to education at all levels. It is an educational tool that breaks most of the divides in education – age, gender, race, income, space, time etc. For the past decades, irrespective of the extensive expansion of tertiary institutions in the country, provision of tertiary education in Ghana has not been adequate enough to absorb all qualified applicants. This situation has peculiar effect on women who for socio-cultural factors drop out of formal education as they climb the ladder. The limited access to tertiary education has been the concern of various governments in the country. Various educational reforms have been made to this effect. In view of the exclusive potential of DE in widening access to education in a unique way, it has been recommended in the most recent educational reform that DE be promoted by establishing an open university and open colleges in addition to encouraging dual mode of delivery in the existing public universities. By its peculiar nature of being flexible and bridging space and time, studies have confirmed that DE has been an educational format that suits women’s study plans and learning styles. This paper explores the unique nature of DE for widening access to tertiary education most especially for women in Ghana and the issues to consider in the process.

KEYWORDS: Women, ICTs, Distance Education, Tertiary Education, Ghana